Beware the Golden Fingers

Reading motherboard or adapter manuals from offshore manufacturers gives you a unique opportunity to decipher the bizarre forms that written English can sometimes take in the hands of non-native speakers. For example, one Taiwanese company describes an edge connector (the part of the NIC that plugs into a PC's bus slot) as "golden fingers."

Even if those fingers are brass rather than gold, make sure they're firmly seated and fully connected when you plug a NIC into an empty bus slot. That is, make sure that the edge connector is hidden from view and that the network interface on the side of the card is well positioned in the cutout on the back of your PC case. Don't jam the edge connector into the computer's bus socket; rock it carefully if you must. Too much force can peel the golden fingers away; if that happens, you need a replacement card.

You should also screw the NIC's metal tab into place, using the screw that attached the placeholder before it was removed. Figure 6-3 shows a placeholder.

Figure 6-3: Place-holders close off empty slots and keep dust and dirt out of your PC.

REMEMBER Two things are worth noting about PC placeholders:

® Be careful with the little screw that holds the placeholder in position. If you drop a screw, you can usually get it to show itself more readily by picking up the PC case and rocking it back and forth gently. Never use a magnetized screwdriver to pick up a screw you've dropped; otherwise, you computer's data may become screwy.

■ Be sure to put the placeholder in a toolbox or spare-parts drawer so you can find it again later. If you ever have to remove the NIC (or any other card) from your PC, you'll need the placeholder to close the case again. Some cases use odd-sized placeholders, so life will be simpler if you can find the right placeholder when you need it.

Team LiB

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