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Understanding PCs & Laptops

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How to Access Your Desktop PC from Your Laptop with Remote Desktop

You can access your desktop PC from your laptop with Remote Desktop. Remote Desktop allows you to work on your laptop as if it were your desktop computer. To access a remote computer from your laptop, [more…]

Before You Buy: What Do You Need in a Laptop?

Before you buy a new laptop computer, you should decide on what you really need and then get a laptop that comes closest to your requirements. Laptops vary in terms of processor speed, screen size, battery [more…]

How to Use the Fn Key on Your Laptop

To make up for a lack of keys, early laptops came with a special function key, the Fn key. This was used in combination with other keys like a Shift key, giving those keys multiple purposes. [more…]

The General Keyboard Layout on a Laptop

A typical laptop keyboard layout has typewriter keys, shift keys, function keys, and cursor control keys.

The below figure illustrates a typical laptop keyboard layout, where all the common keys found on [more…]

How to Upgrade Your Laptop for WiFi

Nearly all current laptops come equipped with built-in facilities for WiFi communication. Even if your laptop doesn’t have the latest technology, you can upgrade it for WiFi. [more…]

How to Add a Cooling Pad to Your Laptop

The ideal accessory for any laptop is the laptop cooling pad. This is a device, similar to the one shown here, on which your laptop sits. [more…]

How to Open Your PC’s Console Case

It's rare for anyone to open the PC's console these days, especially with new PCs. Don’t open the console just to casually poke around. About the only time you must open the console is when performing [more…]

How to Shut Down Windows on Your PC

You can turn your computer off by shutting it down. If you want to shut down your computer, rather than making it sleep or hibernate, you can. Be in charge! Shut down your PC whenever you please. [more…]

Looking Inside a PC Console

You may want to see the components that make up your PC console, the PC’s guts. For a peek inside a PC (without having to dissect your own), look no further. A PC’s insides are shown in this figure, which [more…]

How to Choose a Computer Processor

Intel and AMD are the two leading computer processor manufacturers. Both today’s Pentium series processors from Intel (Pentium 4, Pentium D, and Extreme Edition) and the Athlon 64 and 64 X2 series processors [more…]

How to Restart Windows on Your PC

You need to reset or restart Windows in two instances: You restart whenever Windows tells you to restart (usually after you install something new or make some change), and you restart whenever Something [more…]

How to Use the Numeric Keypad on Your Laptop

The first thing the laptop designers decided to sacrifice on their keyboards was the numeric keypad. Rather than just saw off that end of the keyboard, laptops since the Model 100 have used a combination [more…]

The Back of Your Computer Console

The console’s backside is its busy side. On the back of a computer console, you find various connectors for the many other devices in your computer system: the console’s back also has a place to plug in [more…]

How to Use the Laptop Mouse Pad

It took laptop developers years to come up with the current solution: the mouse pad. Originally called a touch pad, the mouse pad allows you to control the mouse by gliding a thumb or finger along a flat [more…]

How to Lock Your PC

Consider locking your computer, rather than logging out. You can lock your computer if you need to go do something else but don’t want to shut everything down, like when you log out. To lock your computer [more…]

The Laptop's BIOS Setup Program

All modern PCs, laptops included, have a special Startup or Setup program. This program is not a part of your computer's operating system (Windows). Instead, it's built in to the computer's circuitry, [more…]

How to Put Your Laptop into Sleep Mode

All laptops have a special low-power mode, called Stand By mode or Sleep mode. In this mode, the computer is still on but power to certain areas is shut off. That way, you can keep the laptop ready for [more…]

How to Properly Shut Down Your Laptop

Here are the not-so-obvious steps you need to take to properly shut down Windows and turn off your laptop when you're done for the day: [more…]

How to Put Your Laptop into Hibernation Mode

Hibernation is a useful power management feature that's often sadly ignored despite its great benefits. When you hibernate a laptop, you’re essentially turning it off. So, unlike Stand By [more…]

How to Identify Your PC’s Microprocessor

It’s not easy to confirm that your PC has the microprocessor you bought. Even if you crack open the case, the microprocessor hides behind the little fan hat that it wears — and the microprocessor chip [more…]

How to Open and Adjust the Laptop Screen

Believe it or not, the laptop must be in an open position for you to use it. Here's the catch: The lid has a catch, or possibly two! The catch is either a button that you push in or a little slider that [more…]

How to Configure the Laptop Mouse

You can control the laptop's mouse hardware through the Mouse Properties dialog box. Here, you find the controls for configuring and setting up your laptop's pointing device. [more…]

How to Shut Down When the Laptop Doesn’t Want To

Unlike with a desktop computer, it’s not that simple to turn off your laptop when it freezes up or misbehaves. You just can't yank that power cord from the wall on a laptop. The reason that it doesn't [more…]

How to Launch Windows on Your Laptop for the First Time

When you first turn on a brand-new laptop, Windows goes through some gyrations and prompts you to set up Windows on your computer. You're asked certain questions, such as which time zone you live in and [more…]

Your PC’s Video Ports

The video port has been around for many years and still rocks! Virtually all video cards still offer the same 15-pin, D-SUB video port that originally appeared with the IBM Video Graphics Array [more…]

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