Recent Comments


Comment by Pablo on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 07:09 PM)
Bob, I can't figure work with only one monitor. Two for several years....
Comment by Monte Crooks on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:57 PM)
Our newly adopted 17-year-old daughter is a High School Sophomore at Primavera Online High School. I claim that one of the reasons she is Straight A i...
Comment by Bob K on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:57 PM)
I have a dual monitor setup. The primary monitor is a 21" wide screen, which is as big as my desktop will handle easily. I picked up a 17" monitor, ...
Comment by Mike Ciaraldi on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:46 PM)
Just a comment from the other side: I ran dual 19-inch monitors side-by-side in portrait mode for many years. Recently I switched to a single 32-inch ...
Comment by Laurie on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:42 PM)
I can't tell you how invaluable a multi-monitor set up is for me in improving my work environment. I have three monitors: my laptop monitor, a 32" h...
Comment by David on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:40 PM)
I work quite often in Photoshop and with all of the controls on my right hand screen, it is great, and MUCH easier to do my work on the slightly bigge...
Comment by David Schultz on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:39 PM)
As I'm reading this on one screen I am also watching Old Faithful erupting on the other. I have been using 2 monitors for many years and can't imagine...
Comment by Tom on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:39 PM)
At work we setup some of our users with a 32" monitor because they were referring to a pdf or tif drawing. For most people, the larger monitor and be...
Comment by Linda on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:36 PM)
My husband has a desktop computer. He needed to replace one of his two monitors. We ended up replacing both--with two 32" 720p TVs. Each TV was a blac...
Comment by Ed on Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade (February 24, 2017 06:36 PM)
My video card has a DVI and VGA output. I do have a spare VGA monitor. Will these work okay together or do I need to change some hardware. Thanks in ...

Hardware Articles

 

Dual Monitors: Good Reasons to Upgrade

A reader asks: I'm considering dual monitors because my 17-inch monitor seems to be shrinking. Sometimes it seems like I spend more time scrolling and tabbing between programs than on actual work. But I'm still not sure... should I upgrade to a big 30-inch monitor, or go with a dual monitor setup?

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Your Computer's Worst Enemy?

Your PC or Mac shuts down without warning at random times? There are several possible causes, but overheating is the most likely, and easiest to solve. Read on to learn why heat is your computer's Enemy Number One, and how to keep your computer from being damaged by overheating...

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[HOWTO] Revive Your Old Computer

Many of us have old PCs, laptops, or even netbooks gather dust in closets and garages. Some of these venerable devices work just fine, but are underpowered for modern Windows operating systems. Others are hopelessly infected with malware, and a few have missing or damaged hard drives. They’re not worth repairing but they cost too much to just throw away. But here’s a way to bring that old hardware back to life easily and cheaply, perhaps even better than new. Read on...

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Is Google Your Overly Attached Girlfriend?

The Google Hardware Event 2016 revealed the search giant’s vision of a future in which everything you do will be “Googlified,” and the company will know even more about you. That has some privacy advocates concerned. Here's the scoop...

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[ZAP!] Don't Buy the Wrong USB-C Cable

The new USB-C plug and port standard may be the biggest little thing to hit the tech world this century. Finally, there is a truly universal cable that can connect all of our devices - desktop computers, laptops, tablets, phones, monitors, and things haven't been invented yet. But if you buy the wrong USB-C cable, it may destroy your expensive gadgets! Read on to learn what kind of USB-C cables to avoid and how to recognize them...

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Is The Desktop Really Dying?

We've been hearing the death knell of the desktop for several years, as pundits pontificate about the rise of smartphones, tablets and laptops. But what do real people think, outside the ivory towers and echo chambers? Let's take a look at the numbers…

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Hey, Apple and Amazon… Google This!

Google joined the fall hardware fashion show last week, hot on the heels of new product announcements by Apple and Amazon. The search giant is signaling it’s serious about flexing its muscles in the realm of tangible goods. Read on to learn about Google's new gadgets, and how they intend to compete...

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Will Your Next Computer be Made of Lego Blocks?

Have personal computers gotten boring? How about a snap-together, modular, Lego-style computer? Just pick the components that suit your needs, and snap them into place -- no tools or special skills required. At least three vendors are offering modular PCs. Here's how they work...

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Beware the Device Driver Scam

A reader asks: “Popups keep appearing on my screen, with warnings like 'Your drivers may be out of date!' I'm not even sure what a driver is, but if everything seems to be working fine, do I really need to update them?” Here's the scoop on device drivers, and when to update them...

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Google OnHub: The Ultimate WiFi Router?

Google entered the WiFi router market in August 2015, with a mind-boggling product called “OnHub.” It doesn’t look anything like a traditional router, and it doesn't act like one either. And that's a good thing! Read on to learn more about this router, and why you're going to want one...

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PC On A Stick?

Back in May, I wrote about the $9 barebones C.H.I.P. computer that’s so tiny it looks like it would fit in a matchbox. If you want a pocket-sized PC that’s a bit more polished, there’s a category of them variously called “PC on a stick,” “PC stick,” or “Compute stick.” Read on for the scoop on these little gadgets that can turn your TV into a fully functioning computer...

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Is a Chromebox Coming Your Way?

Chromebooks are in the news regularly, and I've written about them several times. But the Chromebook has a sibling we don’t hear much about: the Chromebox, a Google Chrome-based desktop PC replacement. Could this be your next home or office computer? Read on...

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Really, a $9 Computer?

If you’re in the market for the cheapest PC you can buy, head on over to Kickstarter and plunk down just $9.00 for one of the first C.H.I.P. computers from the Next Thing Co. How much computer can you get for nine bucks? Read on...

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The Shocking Truth About ESD

I have warned readers to beware of static electricity – electrostatic discharge or ESD, in geek speak. Today, I’m going to explain in some detail what ESD is, what it can do to electronic devices, and how protect against this common hazard. Read on…!

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Computer Backup Power - What You Need to Know

What do you recommend as a backup power supply for computers? During the last storm, we lost power for several hours. If I had a battery backup, I could have gotten online to check email and weather updates. Is an 'uninterruptible power supply' what I need?

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5 DIY Home Security Systems

A do-it-yourself (DIY) home security system can reduce your homeowner’s insurance premium and boost your home’s resale value; provide peace of mind while you’re away or asleep; make an intruder change his mind; and even summon police or firefighters when necessary.

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Best All-In-One Computers for 2015

All-in-one (AIO) computers have emerged as a good choice for both PC and Mac home users. The minimalist form factor, with most components hidden inside a vertical monitor, is attractive and saves space on your desk. Here's what you need to know, and some all-in-one models to consider…

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Watch Out for Gray Market Goods

In between Walmart’s everyday low prices and the sketchy fellow in Walmart’s parking lot who’s selling brand-new, boxed iPads for $50 lies a vast gray area appropriately called the “gray market.” Here you’ll find prices lower than those of any mainstream merchant but not quite low enough to scream “stolen” or “counterfeit.” How do gray markets work, and are they legal?

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MUST SEE: The HP Sprout

The HP Sprout combines a PC, 3D scanner, projector, and keyless keyboard. Is it the wave of the future or a freak of nature? Read on to see what the Sprout can do and whether it’s worth its impressive price...

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The Best Upgrades for Your Computer?

If you have an older computer that just can’t seem to keep up with modern apps, should you junk it and buy a new one or upgrade its capabilities? If you can afford only one upgrade, which will give you the most improvement for your money? The answers are highly dependent upon your specific circumstances, but here are some general guidelines...

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Seven Reasons Why Computers Crash

It’s a real pain when your computer just stops working, locks up, freezes or crashes. This sort of problem can be devilishly difficult to diagnose, because many things can cause a computer to crash. Here are seven common causes of computer crashes and some tips on how to deal with them...

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Would You Buy a $50 PC?

OK, now it’s getting ridiculous. I mean the miniaturization of PCs and their prices. A fully functional computer, capable of performing most home computing chores now costs $50, and fits in a chassis the size of a USB thumb drive? Yes, it's for real. Read on to learn more about Android-based mini-PCs...

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Best All-in-One Computers for 2014

After several years of consumer skepticism, all-in-one (AIO) computers are catching on. The minimalist form factor, with most components hidden inside a vertical monitor, is attractive and saves space on your desk. Here are some of the best AIO computers you can buy now, and heading into 2014...

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Can a Virus Really Destroy Your Hard Drive?

Occasionally, I hear from readers who say a virus 'destroyed' their hard drive and they had to buy a new one. But are there actually viruses that can physically damage a hard drive? Is it even possible for a virus to damage hardware, or is this an urban legend? Read on to find out the truth...

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HOWTO: Buying a Computer Monitor

A reader asks: 'My 7-year-old monitor is slowly fading, and it's time for a bigger screen, so I'm ready to buy a new one. Does brand really matter, and what features would you say are important when buying a new monitor?'

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Sockets and Caches and Cores, Oh My!

A reader asks: 'I have been wondering about upgrading the CPU in my desktop, because it's a slow, cheap computer I bought three years ago. But the jargon is getting me down! Can you demystify all this talk of sockets, cores, clock speed, cache, etc?' Read on to learn more about the 'engine' under your computer's hood...

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Time to Replace Your Power Supply?

A reader says: 'The fan inside my computer's power supply has started making an awful noise, and I'm afraid it's ready to bite the dust. Is it difficult to replace a power supply?' The good news is NO! Read on to find out if your power supply should be replaced...

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HOWTO: Buy a New Computer

A reader aks: 'I teach senior citizens in a free community based computer lab. They often ask what to look for when buying a computer, what software they need for email, basic Internet usage, word processing, etc. Many are on a limited budget. What would you suggest they need as a minimum?'

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Online Computer Repair and Fix-it-Yourself Options

A reader asks: 'My computer is running slow and I think it might have a virus. What do you think of those online computer repair services? Are they reliable, or should I take it to a local computer repair shop?' Here's the scoop on remote computer repair services, and some free alternatives...

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Seven Reasons For Computer Crashes

It’s a real pain when your computer just stops working, locks up, or crashes. This sort of problem can be devilishly difficult to diagnose, because many things can cause a computer to crash. Here are seven common causes of computer crashes and some tips on how to deal with them...

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Five Reasons Desktop PCs Won’t Die

Tablets and smartphones seem to be taking over the computing world. Some pundits are predicting that in a few years you won’t be able buy a desktop PC. Are PCs inevitably going the way of buggy whips? Here's my take on why that's that's not going to happen any time soon...

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Time to Upgrade Your Monitor?

If you spend many hours per day at your desktop computer, a good monitor is one of the best investments you can make. A monitor that displays text crisply, renders colors faithfully, and keeps up with fast motion video is a pleasure to use, and could even spare you a trip to the eye doctor. Here's why you should consider upgrading, and five cool monitors for you to check out...

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Why NOW is a Good Time to Buy a New PC

If you're currently using Windows XP or Vista, and wondering whether you should buy a new PC with Windows 7 now, or wait for Windows 8 in October, here's my advice...

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How to Test and Fix Your Computer Hardware

If your computer is acting strangely, and you've already ruled out a virus, it might be gremlins. But more likely, a software error is being caused by a hardware component that's flaky, damaged, or overheated. Here are some tips and tools to help you diagnose and fix those annoying or intermittent computer problems that just seem to pop up for no apparent reason...

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All-In-One Desktops for 2012

Are all-in-one desktop PCs a good buy? I'm replacing an old computer, and am considering an all-in-one because they look sharp and don't take up a lot of desk space. What should I know before I buy?

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Upgrade Your CPU

Should I upgrade my CPU? I work with photos and videos a lot, and often wish my computer was faster. Will a CPU upgrade really help me, or are there other more important factors I should consider?

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Computer Backup Power

What do you recommend as a backup power supply for computers? During the last storm, we lost power for several hours. If I had a battery backup, I could have gotten online to check email and weather updates. Is an 'uninterruptible power supply' what I need?

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How Fast Is Your PC?

I'm shopping for a new PC, and it's difficult to get an overall rating for how fast a computer is, under real world conditions. Some benchmarks show raw CPU speed, but I'm looking for more than that. Can you recommend any free software to measure system peformance?

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Should You Update Your Drivers?

I've seen ads for software that scans your computer, looking for device drivers that need to be updated. I'm not even sure what a driver is, but if everything seems to be working fine, do I really need to update them?

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How To Buy a Computer Monitor

My 7-year-old monitor is slowly fading, and it's time for a bigger screen, so I'm ready to buy a new one. Does brand really matter, and what features would you say are important when buying a new monitor?

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Does Intel Inside Really Matter?

When shopping for a new computer, you will find two brand names of CPU to choose from: Intel and AMD. Does it really matter which brand you choose? Let's look at the numbers, and a little history to find out...

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Should I Build My Own PC?

Personal computers are complex machines. But they basically consist of modules that plug together. You don't need a soldering iron or a degree in electronics. So, should you build your own PC?

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Is Your CPU Overheating?

A computer's CPU (central processing unit) is like a car's engine in one way. Both generate heat in proportion to how hard they work. An overheated engine can seize, stop working, and even suffer permanent damage. So can a CPU. Here's how to monitor your computer's CPU temperature and take action if you're running hot...

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Fastest Desktop PC

I'm ready for a new desktop computer, and I need something fast. What's the fastest desktop PC on the market, and how much will it cost?

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Cheap Gaming Computers

I'm into computer gaming, and am looking for a new desktop system. I do need to stay on a budget, but I'm not opposed to building my own system. What do you recommend for someone who is looking for a cheap gaming computer?

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PC Tune Up

Most people can tell when their cars need a tune-up. Odd noises, sluggish acceleration, and white smoke from the tailpipe are easily recognized signs. Computers also get out of tune and need minor adjustments to perform their best again. Here are some signs that you need a PC tune-up, and how to go about it...

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All-In-One Desktop PCs

All-in-one desktop PCs strive to save desktop space by integrating normally separate components of a desktop computer system into a single, compact design. There are pros and cons to the all-in-one desktop PC approach. Find out if an all-in-one computer is right for you.

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Document Management Solutions

Many businesses generate and receive documents in lots of different formats: paper, email, PDF files, graphic image files, faxes, HTML, etc. Document management solutions have never been more important, or more complex. Here's an overview of the various types of document management systems available to home users, businesses and webmasters...

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Which CPU is Best?

I'm ready for a new computer, and I want to build it myself. But I'm a little confused about all the CPU options from Intel and AMD. Can you explain which CPU is best for a machine that will run Windows 7 and a wide variety of software applications?

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Computer Monitor Repair

Computer monitor repair may sound like a job for an electronics expert, but some common problems with computer monitors can be fixed without shelling out a lot of money. Sometimes even today's sophisticated LCD monitors can be repaired at home. Here are a few tips on computer monitor repair...

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CPU Temperature Monitoring

Sometimes my computer just shuts down for no apparent reason, and my office mate says maybe my CPU is running too hot. Does that sound possible, and if so how can I measure the temperature of my CPU?

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CD and DVD Duplicators

So your garage band is ready to release its first album; congratulations! Or perhaps you've filmed a documentary, or developed some software that is to be distributed on CD. Either way, you need to duplicate CDs in mass quantities; say, 500 copies at a time. There are several ways to duplicate CDs or DVDs...

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CPU Benchmarking

How fast is your computer's central processing unit (CPU) compared to others? That's one question that CPU benchmarking can help you answer. Another good question is whether your particular CPU is performing up to manufacturer's specs; CPU benchmarking can answer that one too. Here's how to test your own CPU…

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What is Quad Core?

You will often see references to Quad-core technology when looking at high-performance personal computers. Quad-core is leading-edge computing power, very fast and of course more expensive than single or dual-core processors. But what is Quad-core on a technical level? Read on to find out…

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Build Your Own Computer

You can save a good deal of money by building your own computer from components. It doesn't require advanced electronics or soldering skills; everything just plugs and screws together. Your chest will swell with pride, and your friends and family will look at you in awe. Plus, you will end up with the perfect PC for you! Let's start from the core of a PC and see what's needed, where to get it, and what it costs...

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Replace Your Motherboard

We had a storm last night and it seems that my motherboard was fried by lightning. There is a big black spot on the motherboard and some solder nearby is melted. I'm sure I need a replacement motherboard, but I've never installed one myself. Do you have any tips on replacing a motherboard?

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USB Ports Not Working

USB ports are handy, carefree devices when they work properly. They allow you to quickly attach a camera, printer, flash drive and many other devices to your computer. But sometimes you run into a snag - you plug your gadget into a USB port, and nothing happens. Here's what to do when your USB ports are not working...

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Dead Pixel on Monitor

Sometimes that tiny spot on your monitor screen just won't come off, no matter how you scrub. That may be because it's not dirt but a dead or stuck pixel. Dead pixels are as annoying as flyspecks when you're trying to read a screen. Is there anything you can do to avoid dead pixels and their opposites - stuck pixels that remain too bright?

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Update Your Device Drivers

Device drivers are software packages that keep many parts of your computer system running and working together smoothly. As you change the hardware and software components of your system, the device drivers on it may become obsolete. It's important to keep your device drivers up to date. Here's how...

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What is Quantum Computing?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of quantum computing. Can you explain it in plain English, and tell me if this is something that's available now, or if it's still in the concept phase?

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Cleaning a Monitor

Computer screens get dusty, dirty, and dingy just like windows. But unlike glass windows, computer screens are complex, sensitive electronic devices that can be damaged by incorrect cleaning. Here's how to clean various types of computer screens safely...

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Buying A Monitor

A good computer monitor is one of the best investments you can make. It can save your eyesight and make you more productive. Here are things to consider when buying a computer monitor...

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How to Buy a Laptop

A laptop computer makes a popular gift to give or receive. But the laptop landscape is dotted with thousands of species and subspecies. Which one should you choose, and how should you buy it - online or in a big electronics store?

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Digital Camera Memory Cards

I'm a little confused about all the different memory cards that are available for digital cameras and video cams. The memory card I bought for my digital camera is not recognized by my computer. Can you demystify this for me?

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Inexpensive Computer Upgrades

My computer is showing signs of age, but I can't afford a new one. What hardware upgrades do you recommend to improve speed and usability for those with older computers?

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Surge Protectors

I'm looking for a surge protector for my computer equipment and I'm wondering if those power strip models with built-in surge protection are any good. What should I look for when trying to protect my computer from lightning strikes?

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Do Computers Get Tired?

Sometimes my computer acts weird when it's been running for several days. I've heard about something called 'electron buildup' but I'm not sure I should take it seriously. Can electronic devices really suffer from fatigue if they're on too long?

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How to Buy a Computer

I teach senior citizens in a community based free computer lab. They often ask what to look for when buying a computer, what software they need for email, basic Internet usage, word processing, etc. Many are on a limited budget. What would you suggest they need as a minimum?

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Upgrade Your Computer Monitor

I have a really old monitor with a small screen that's starting to flicker. I'd like to upgrade to something nice that will handle web browsing, office applications and online video. What do you recommend?

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Fast Color Laser Printers

I'm looking for a color laser printer that's reliable and fast. A price tag under $500 would be nice... what do you recommend?

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Cheap Desktop Computers

I'm looking for a basic entry-level desktop computer to give to a high-school student as a Christmas gift. What do you recommend in the budget category that can handle web surfing, email and word processing?

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Free HDTV on Your PC

HDTV (high definition television) is the wave of the future. Right now many television stations are transitioning to Hi Def, and if you are an avid TV watcher, then you'll want to make this transition as well. But if you don't have a fancy new HDTV, you can still get free HDTV on your PC. Here's how...

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New Power Supply

My computer is making a loud noise that sounds like a fan going bad. A friend told me I should replace the power supply. Can you give me some tips on installing a new power supply?

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HP OfficeJet Pro L7780

HP is known for its versatile line of business and home office equipment. One of their latest releases is the HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 All-In-One. This office machine operates as both a color and a black and white printer, copier, scanner and fax machine. I've had mine for a few weeks, so it's time for a review...

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What is Firewire?

I was told that I should have a Firewire cable to transfer videos from my camcorder to my computer. I have USB connectors on my PC, is that the same thing, or can the Firewire plug in to that?

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Green Computing

Kermit the Frog told us that it's not easy being green, but that concept also applies to computers and how they can be more friendly to our planet. Learn how computers impact the environment, and how Green Computing can make a difference...

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Do I Need A New Computer?

Our computer is three years old, and my teenager says it's obsolete. He wants us to buy a new computer with more speed, more memory, etc. Can you give me some pointers on how to determine if I really need to buy a new computer?

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Which GPS Should I Buy?

GPS systems are useful for finding your way around, but choosing the navigation system that's right for you might be just as challenging as traveling without one. Here are some guidelines on the best GPS systems so you don't get lost in the market, or on the road…

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What is Blu-Ray?

I've seen ads for movies on Blu-Ray discs but I'm not sure what that means. What is Blu-Ray and how is it different from a regular DVD disc? Do I need a special player to view a Blu-Ray disc?

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What is Bluetooth?

This is the age of wireless devices. Information is relevant only if it is accessible anywhere and everywhere. From phones to computers, every device is aiming at becoming wireless and providing more accessibility to the users. Read on to learn how Bluetooth technology is making wireless connections at home, at the office, and on the go...

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Adding Memory

If your computer seems to stagger under the burden of your commands, responding slowly, freezing or timing you out; if working at your system feels like bicycling uphill, consider adding extra memory. Adding memory to your computer isn't so hard -- here's a step-by-step guide to figuring out if you need more RAM, learning what kind to buy and installing it yourself...

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Rip & Burn Basics

I have a big music collection on CDROM discs. I'd like to get all this music on my computer and burn my own mix CDs. Can you help me get started?

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What is BIOS?

I've heard you can change BIOS settings to affect performance and startup options, but I've always been hesitant to poke around in the BIOS setup screens. Can you demystify this for me?

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Changing Disk Partitions

I downloaded Cute Partition Manager and was just about to delete the restore partition from the D drive of my old computer. I just want to make sure that doing so won't mess up the info on the C drive. Drive D is formatted FAT32 and drive C is NTFS. I really could use the extra space, but can't afford to lose the files on the C drive...

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SATA and IDE Hard Drives?

I want to install the hard drive from my old computer as the secondary hard drive of my new computer. The new computer is an HP with a SATA hard drive. My old hard drive is a Seagate Ultra ATA/100. How do I add this hard drive to my new computer?

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Dirty Mouse?

When I click on the Windows Start button it jumps up and down like a jack in the box. Even worse are arrowed pop-up boxes, as it takes clicking on the arrow 4 or 5 times, before it calms down and steadies itself. I don't know if it's a virus or something else, but it's driving me nuts... can you help?

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Exploding CDROMs

I was installing a game when the CDROM disc exploded into pieces inside the computer. Is this common, and what would cause such a thing?

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CDROM Icon Missing

When I go to My Computer the CDROM and DVD icons are gone. They were there yesterday, and working fine. It seems like this happened after I removed some CD burner software. Now I can't install anything from a CDROM, or play music CD's -- help!

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Buying a Computer

I teach senior citizens in a community based computer lab. They often ask what to look for when buying a computer, what software they need for email, basic Internet usage, word processing, etc. Many are on a limited budget. What would you suggest they need as a minimum?

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CDROM Tray Opens

My CDROM drive door keeps opening and closing by itself without prompting. Do I need to change a setting or is my computer possessed?

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Computer Restarts Itself

My PC running on Windows XP frequently restarts it self for no apparent reason. Any files or internet pages I have been working on are lost. The PC reboots to the desktop and I have to redo all my work. Any ideas please?

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Home Networking

We just purchased a second computer and now we'd like to share the printer and Internet connection between them. How do I set up a simple home network?

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Inkjet Cartridges - Replace or Refill?

Inkjet printers are cheap. Keeping them stocked with ink can cost a small fortune. The manufacturers say to use only new original equipment cartridges, in part because it's an important piece of their revenue stream. But on the shelf at Office Whopper, next to the $38 brand-name cartridges, sits a $30 no-name job and a refill kit for only $20. It seems like a no-brainer, but are these cheaper alternatives your best bet?

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Lifetime of a CDROM disk

I need to archive some files on CDROM disks. I hear a lot about the differences in quality of CDs. How do I determine what is a high quality CD that will last at least several years?

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Get an Uninterruptible Power Supply

During stormy weather the power often flickers in my home, causing my computer to reboot. And of course I lose whatever I was working on at the time. I've heard that an uninterruptible power supply will protect my computer from power glitches. But I know nothing about them, what do you recommend?

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Hard Drive Crash

I have a Maxtor 160GB hard drive that has crashed and won't boot up. So I figured I would put in another hard drive and load up XP on it to boot and make my old hard drive a slave. After booting up, the old drive shows in My Computer, but Windows tells me it has not been formatted yet. I don't want to formate this drive because it has data I need. How do I get this data off the old hard drive and onto my other drive or a CDROM?

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Computer shuts down by itself

Lately my computer has been shutting down and rebooting for no apparent reason. When it restarts, it usually says it has recovered from a serious error. It SEEMS to happen when I am using my computer to listen to music.

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CMOS checksum error

When I boot up, I get a CMOS checksum error message and I must press F1 to continue or DELETE to enter Setup. How can I solve this problem?

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Turning F-Lock key ON automatically

On certain Microsoft keyboards, the function keys (F1, F2, F3, etc.) will not work normally unless you press the F-Lock key. Arrogantly flouting decades of keyboard convention, Microsoft markets Natural and Multimedia and Office keyboards that have the F-keys reassigned to common Microsoft Office actions. Here's how to fix it...

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