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The Latest Technology (not!)
- Direct X

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Now, here is a nifty little scam: Windows is constantly looking long in the tooth. You want to run the latest software and you want to think your machine is bang up to date. Right?

So Microsoft launch Direct X (insert other 'techie' sounding buzz word here), some kind of snazzy new drivers to directly control the hardware inside your computer in order to get faster graphics and better sound. What was the point of Windows95, or 98, or ME, or XP then? Obviously it wasn't the most optimised operating system when it came out. Most operating systems are designed for exactly that - controlling the hardware inside your computer. Why then, do Microsoft need Direct X? Presumably, because Microsoft deliberately made Windows less efficient in the first place, so that at some point in the future they could launch Direct X (or something else!), to kick start enthusiasm into their products again. The words PR and hype spring to mind....

So what does it do in real life then? Well, for a start, it will deliberately slow your machine down, so you'll need a faster processor to run it on. This is presumably an attempt by Microsoft to make you think it's now time to upgrade your machine to a faster model again. You must have had your PC at least six months now, so it's time to bin it and buy a faster one.

I installed a copy of Direct X as a test onto a machine that was fresh with a new Windows 95 installation, and then re-booted the machine and did a few benchmark tests. It was at least 50% slower than before I installed Direct X. I then erased the hard drive and re-installed Windows 95, and - lo-and-behold, it speeded up again.

Well, I suppose the official solution to this is "Oh you obviously haven't got Direct X compatible hardware in the machine." EXACTLY! BINGO! You need to upgrade again. You need to buy Direct X compatible graphics, sound and other expansion cards. Alternatively, just bin the whole lot and buy a faster machine. Of course, you'll need to do this anyway when Window 98, ME, 2000, XP etc etc come out. It's bound to need at least a faster processor and double your existing hard disc space.....

What a con! What a rip-off!