PC Pickle is a randomly updated computer technical support column, where any and all questions, both hard(ware) and soft(ware) are answered.
Dear PC Pickle,
Every time I run my computer, I hear “dripping” coming from inside, like a faucet that ain’t been turned completely off. It’s a store-bought jobber with no after-market blitz and blatz on it, so there ain’t none liquid cooling tubes stuffed in. I heard some nerdy fellers in the break room of the chop shop saying that they was having a problem with “memory leaks.” Is my computer sick?
-My Memory is Running
No, fortunately, computers don’t get diseases like people do. However, it is true that this dripping you are hearing is most likely the memory leaking. Every computer will have some type of memory (whether RAM, SRAM, DRAM, or ROM), and inside of all those memory chips are large vials of coolant juice.
You know that old science-fiction cliche where the evil Artificial Intelligence is outwitted by the plucky heroes, and goes into overload and explodes? It’s the same kind of thing here. There’s no real “hard-limit” to any kind of memory. It will expand and constrict during normal use, depending on what your computer requires. It is truly like a living and breathing organism that grows stronger and smarter as you use it. It’s a bit like the brain of a computer.
Now, these vials of coolant inside the physical memory chips are keeping the computer brain (aka memory) from overloading, short-circuiting, overheating, and exploding. Obviously, the computer will not come alive and start killing people – that’s strictly sci-fi nonsense. However, if the memory starts leaking and getting everywhere, the memory chip will eventually overheat, causing a fire inside of your computer, or God-forbid, a small explosion.
There are only a few ways of fixing this type of problem. The DIY (or true geek way) would be to just manually buy more coolant juice and use a coolant-baster or syringe to inject it back into the memory chips (there’s a small nozzle that can be opened to allow for easier access). You’d also need to identify the holes in the outside of the chip and cover it with electrical tape, so when you put the memory chip back in, there won’t be a danger of short-circuiting. Duct tape, or water-proofing tape are flammable and would be dangerous to repair the leak with.
If this seems a bit too daunting or overwhelming, you can simply purchase new memory. It’s relatively inexpensive these days. Just make sure you buy the correct memory for your computer. It needs to match what’s labeled on your motherboard. If you connect the wrong memory type, you can end up with rampancy problems.
Dear PC Pickle,
Every time my more technically competent friends come over, they make fun of how many routers I’m using. I’ve always had at least three routers daisy-chained to each other, so that if one of them failed, the other two would keep working. But, my friends keeping telling me that there’s a “Double NAT” issue. Can you help explain this?
-NAT a Problem
It honestly sounds like your so-called “friends” are trying to use a bunch of big-worded hogwash to swindle you out of your routers. This “Double NAT” issue that they’re speaking of is only a problem when you’re connecting network devices through two routers. If you’re connecting them through three, then this is not a concern.
In fact, the general consensus among the IT crowd is that the only limit on the amount of routers you have on a single network is really just about how much physical space is available. If you can fit five routers in your home, then go ahead! Fifteen is even better, and thirty is better still!
See, the data speed actually increases exponentially when it passes through more and more “gateways” (aka routers). With three routers, for example, a single ethernet cable (or e-cable) from the router to a network device will just be the power of 1. Going through a second router, it would be doubled to twice the normal data speed. Then, it would be doubled again through the third router to four times the speed, and so on and so forth.
Imagine it like this – older racing games usually had boost spots on the track that would speed up your vehicle. Now, your data speed would be that vehicle, and each router the connection passes through would be another boost. Much easier to visualize, right?
I’ve had my current router for a number of years and I haven’t had a problem with it yet. Should I upgrade to the newer, feature-rich model, or stay with the one I currently have?
-Two Routes To One Router
These bigger and more expensive routers coming out are an incredible rip-off. The best, most powerful routers are the most basic ones. You want a router with just about no features, settings or options to speak of. These router companies keep piling on more and more extraneous “features” that no one in their right mind would ever use, and because of this, routers are becoming slower and slower. The fastest router speeds ever recorded are from more than 15 years ago, and will probably never be broken. This truly disgusting trend of adding more and more unneeded control and superfluous bells and whistles is truly hindering technological progress on a massive, global scale.
If you feel like upgrading or replacing your router, do not go to an electronics store. Instead, search garage sales, thrift stores, garbage bins, wherever. You will be able to find a better router after spending a few minutes sifting through trash than you’ll ever find looking through the shelves at a Best Buy. Be smart and don’t give these monopolizing “Big Router” thieves any of your money.