Computer Components

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How to Add a Port Replicator or Docking Station to Your Laptop

The way to expand your laptop's options is to add special nonportable options, such as a port replicator or docking station.

Port replicator: A port replicator snaps on to a special expansion slot or connector [more…]

Your PC Keyboard’s Lock Keys

The three Lock keys are special keys designed to change the way other keys on the keyboard behave. You press a Lock key once to activate it, and you press that Lock key again to deactivate it: [more…]

How to Receive a Fax on Your Laptop

When you're aware of a thundering fax speeding toward your laptop, you can prepare for it by visiting Fax Central in Windows. [more…]

How to Get a Mouse for Your Laptop

The best solution for using a mouse on a laptop is to get a real mouse. Now you can readily use a desktop computer mouse on your laptop instead of or along with the touch pad. Yes, it's one more thing [more…]

Choosing between an Inkjet or Laser Printer

In the digital days of yore, choosing between an inkjet and a laser printer was easy. Laser printer cost and lack of color capabilities led every home PC owner to get an inkjet printer. These days, however [more…]

The Different Types of PC Monitors

PC monitors come in two different flavors, each of which is known by a popular TLA (three-letter acronym): LCD and CRT. [more…]

What to Do When You Spill Something on Your Laptop's Keyboard

If you spill coffee, water, or some other liquid on your laptop’s keyboard, the first thing to do is not panic. The second thing to do is to turn off the power, because water and electricity are an unpleasant [more…]

How to Set Up Your Computer Printer

Printers are one of the easiest devices to set up and configure. With some printers, you can set up your printer by simply connecting the printer to your PC and a power supply. Other printers require a [more…]

Different Types of PC Game Controllers

Because modern computer-game players want a lot more than a joystick and one button, the PC game controller has arrived. Game controllers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A game controller for just [more…]

The Front of Your Computer Console

The front of the computer console is for you, dear computer user. You use the front of the console to interact with the computer system directly. From the front of the console, you can add or remove disks [more…]

Explaining I/O

Computers are obsessed over the two letters I and O. I/O stands for Input and Output, which are the two things a computer does best. Really, I/O is pretty much the only thing a computer does. You get this [more…]

Connect Peripherals to Your PC

Peripherals are externally hooked up to your computer. Your actual PC, itself, is nothing but the console (or tower). Everything else is considered a peripheral. To do much of anything with a PC, you’ll [more…]

Change Your PC’s Mouse Settings

In Windows, mouse settings are controlled by using the Mouse Properties dialog box. To display that dialog box to change mouse settings, open the Control Panel Home and choose the Mouse link beneath the [more…]

FireWire Connections on Your PC

The original FireWire standard has now been overtaken in raw speed by USB 2.0, but because FireWire has been around much longer, it’s in no danger of disappearing. FireWire works better than USB 2.0 with [more…]

The Different Types of Computer Mice

Computer mice some in a number of varieties. You can find a computer mouse for just about any use. To figure out what kind of mouse would work best with your PC, you need to know your mouse options: [more…]

How to Disconnect from Your Dial-up Account after Checking E-mail

When you're using a dial-up account from your laptop, keep in mind that you don't need to be connected to the Internet while you read your e-mail. Especially given how much power the modem draws, you should [more…]

The Types of Computer Printers

Computer printers are categorized by how the ink gets splattered on the paper. Other subcategories of printer are based on the printer’s features. Printers fall into several general groups. Here’s the [more…]

Computer Storage

Your computer needs storage because the processor needs a place to perform its magic — a scratchpad for mad doodles, if you will. All computers need storage. On a modern computer, storage comes in two [more…]

How to Find Your Laptop’s Modem in Windows

To control your laptop’s modem, you must find the spot in Windows where you can use software to set up the modem's hardware. Here’s how to find the modem in Windows. [more…]

The Network Cables for Your PC

Unless you go totally wireless, you need wires to connect the computers, thus creating the network. You use a cable known as Cat 5, or Category 5, networking cable. One end of the cable plugs into your [more…]

The I/O Panel’s Components

You PC most likely has an I/O panel to either help keep all the connectors in one spot. On the I/O panel, you add various expansion options to the PC, and the I/O panel also provides places to plug in [more…]

How to Plug in Your PC with a UPS

UPS stands for uninterruptible power supply, and a UPS is the best thing to use for hooking up your computer system to the wall socket. Basically, a UPS is a power strip combined with a battery. It can [more…]

How to Plug in Your PC with a Power Strip

Why were power strips invented? Because you have far many more devices that need to be plugged in than you have available sockets in the wall! The idea is to plug everything into a power strip and then [more…]

How to Change Inkjet Printer Cartridges

You can determine when you need to change the cartridges in your inkjet printer by letting the printer itself tell you when it needs new cartridges (an on-screen alert appears) or when your printer’s cartridges [more…]

How to Create a New Dialup Location for Your Laptop’s Modem

Any time you set up shop in a new location, you need to tell the laptop's modem about it, by creating a new dialup location. You have to enter this new dialup location and dialing information only if you're [more…]

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