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Archive for the ‘Hardware & Peripherals’ Category



Epson Printer Tricks

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Robert from Pittsburgh asks:

I have an Epson printer which is primarily used to print documents, so I only use the black ink. The darn thing will not work if any of the cartridges are empty. I was wondering if there was a way to trick it into printing, since I only want black and have no need for cyan, magenta, and yellow. Any ideas?

Epson… Continue reading

Setting Language Options in XP

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Stanley J. from Lewisville, TX asks:

I just returned from South Korea and I got a keyboard with the Korean characters on it and would like to use it to write my friend in Korea. I know Microsoft has a language pack for this, but I’m not sure which one and how to use it when I download it. I am using Windows XP. Thanks!

Darik’s Boot and Nuke

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Serena, from North Carolina, asks:

I am looking to get rid of my computer, but I want to make sure that everything is off of my hard drive (banking info, etc.). How can I do this and be sure?

Serena, you are right to be cautious. Many people think that formatting a hard drive is the best thing to do in this situation. However, this still leaves behind… Continue reading

Memory Sticks and Flash Drives

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Patrick from Olean, New York asks:

The USB MEMORY STICK is an amazing little thing, and so handy! My question? I have copied and pasted documents from My Documents without any problems. But from everything I read, you should download software in order to move this information from the computer to the USB Drive. So how am I

Restoring the Windows Boot Loader

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Tom, from Oklahoma asks:
I installed Ubuntu to try it out, but I had some problems, so I uninstalled it. However, when I boot my machine it still gives Ubuntu as an option. How do I clean this up? I am using XP SP3.

Note: Any procedure involving the MBR (Master Boot Record) is dangerous and can cause your computer to become inaccessible. While the steps

Comparing Computer Brands

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Rob from Knoxville, TN asks:

How do Acer / Gateway / E-Machine, stand in the rankings of Good Better and Best computers by support and durability?

Gateway Computers purchased eMachines at the start of 2004 and then was purchased by Acer in the fall of 2007. Even though these computers essentially belong to the same owner… Continue reading

SD Memory Cards Explained

Monday, October 25th, 2010

The quick and simple answer: Secure Digital. Utilizing what’s known as nonvolatile memory, a Secure Digital memory card is very much like a small size USB flash drive, in that, just like a flash drive, a SD card will retain its data even without being plugged into a computer, camera, or other device to power it. The “Secure” in Secure Digital comes from the SD cards’ original goal of providing… Continue reading

Fix A CD Reading Glitch

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Pamela from Illinois asks:

My Dell computer, running Windows XP, cannot read CDs. When I put one in, I get the hourglass and nothing else. What could be wrong?

The first question; was it a commercial CD or a copied disc? Sometimes copies of CDs are not finalized correctly, and they won’t play in

Archiving Your Valuable Files

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Harvey asks:

Somewhere I remember reading about certain CDs that were recommended for archival information. My recollection is that they had some coating or thicker layers that would last longer. Do you know of such items? Also, are there special storage sleeves for CD discs that inhibit age related deterioration?

Well, Harvey, to begin with, the disc that most people recommend for archiving is… Continue reading

The Difference Between DVD rom and DVD RAM

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Larry from Sallisaw, OK asks:

Can you explain the difference between DVDs and DVD RAM?

DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc. It’s a type of data storage technology. There are two categories of recording formats in DVDs.

The first category is called Digital Versatile Disc Read Only Memory (DVD ROM). In this type of DVD, you can… Continue reading

Playstation Move and Motion Controls

Friday, October 15th, 2010

In the current generation video game wars, it’s hard to question to dominance of the Wii. As of 2011, more than 74 million Wii units have been sold worldwide; compared to about 43 million Xbox 360 units and about 38 million PS3′s. Another way to look at it is dominance by the inferior unit. The Wii’s graphics are primitive compared to the other two units, the gameplay is

Changing Your Computers Boot Sequence

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Mona from San Diego, California asks:

A friend of mine called and said that she needs to reinstall Windows XP (she has the disk). She has done this before but she always used floppies; now she doesn’t have a floppy drive so she just uses her CD disk. She went to reinstall and her WinXP

Addressing External Hard Drive Problems

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Bob from Edgewater, Florida asks:

I have “Western Digital” My books, 500 Gig external hard drive. I can not access any of the information that is on the drive. Is there any way I can retrieve the information? Maybe software, freeware or anything that I can do. Thank you for any help you can give. I keep the

Burning CDs and DVDs

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Marilyn from Canada asks:

I have a DVD player/burner and would like to know the proper way to burn CDs and DVDs. Also, what’s the procedure for creating a DVD you can add to later?

The process of burning CDs and DVDs used to be one that only professionals were able to do. Today, nearly every household has at least one CD burner, if not both… Continue reading

Replacing a Damaged Laptop Screen

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Sandy from Ohio asks:

My granddaughter stepped on the screen on her laptop. Is it possible to replace a laptop screen? Is it a good financial decision to do so?

My first question would be whether you have a Mac or PC laptop? The reason I ask is that, while it is possible to replace the screen on both, the financial variables multiply very shortly thereafter… Continue reading

The Correct Way to Lay Down a CD

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Jenna asks:

When I have to lay a CD down, I lay it down shiny side up. Yesterday my husband Todd and I had a rather heated argument about it; he says that I am wrong and that the data side is the one you have to be careful of (which is the label side) so I need to lay it down shiny side down to protect

Windows 7 Autoplay Settings

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

On any given day I insert, plug-in and otherwise connect any number of different devices and media to my computer. Digital cameras, my iPhone, DVDs, CDs; you name it and chances are I’m quite familiar with each thing and with what the result of me connecting/inserting it is.

But I want more choice! For example, when I insert an audio CD, I don’t necessarily want… Continue reading

No More Mouse Wake Up

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

When I’m going to be away from my computer for a little while, I usually just put it to sleep rather than shut it down. This comes in pretty handy, but because my mouse is so sensitive, if I even so much as tap my desk the computer wakes right up again. This is because my mouse is set up to wake my computer if I move it.… Continue reading

USB Gadgets Effect on Laptop Batteries

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Gail from Oklahoma asks:

Will USB gadgets like the Chill Pad or Flexible light you sell make my laptop battery wear out sooner?

In short Gail, the answer to that would be yes. Think of your laptop battery in terms of a car’s engine. The harder a car works, the more gasoline it uses

Find the Insert Key on Your Keyboard

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Josephine from California asks:

Where is the “insert key” on my keyboard?

Thanks for the question, Josephine. The Insert key more often than not is located in the right half of the keyboard and is usually next to the Delete key. The Insert key is labeled “Ins”. The exact position of the Insert various from one keyboard model to another. In this tip, we’ll take… Continue reading

Special Note – This is the last of a 5 part series entitled, “What The Heck Is Inside My Computer?” This series is designed to give you an idea of exactly what the major parts of your computer are, what they do, and what they look like. Hey, we’ll even hook some of ‘em up for you so you can see how simple do-it-yourself upgrades… Continue reading

CPU – there’s a term that gets mangled on a regular basis. Most people seem to think the “box” part of the computer is the “CPU”. Truth is, if that’s you, you’ve been living a lie. That “box” actually IS the computer. The CPU lives deep inside it.

Your CPU (Central Processing Unit – or “processor”) is located under the big fan… Continue reading

OK, I’m going to have to be careful here. I could write a book about all the intricacies of RAM (speed, types, size etc), but for our purposes, we need to first set our focus to what RAM actually is – and why gobs of it nestled inside your computer will make your life oh-so-much better. So, I’ll sum it up in one little sentence… Continue reading

Looking for part 5? Click Here

Special Note – This is the second of a 5 part series entitled, “What The Heck Is Inside My Computer?” This series is designed to give you an idea of exactly what the major parts of your computer are, what they do, and what they look like. Hey, we’ll even hook some of ‘em up for you so you can see

Special Note – This is the first of a 5 part series entitled, “What The Heck Is Inside My Computer?” This series is designed to give you an idea of exactly what the major parts of your computer are, what they do, and what they look like. Hey, we’ll even hook some of ‘em up for you so you can see how simple do-it-yourself upgrades can be.

To get the

Mouse and Keyboard Buyer’s Guide

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Even in today’s touch-screen world, the keyboard and mouse have not been replaced. Fortunately, the technology has evolved. You now have choices galore to suit your needs. This article will help you make an informed decision on your next keyboard or mouse.

Key deciding factors that can influence your decision are:
– Usage
– Ergonomics
– Functionality
– Connectivity Medium… Continue reading

Here is a short tutorial on how you can eject or close your CD ROM using desktop shortcuts. Opening or closing the CD tray using these shortcuts can help you out if you have a faulty eject button on your CD ROM drive. You will never need to open windows explorer and right-click the CD ROM drive and then press eject. These two shortcuts will make your tasks

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