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Understanding PCs & Laptops

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How to Use Passwords on Your Laptop

Windows lets you slap a password on your account and then requires you to type that password before you can use Windows. Though this is optional, and seems kind of silly when you're the only one around [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…]

The Various Types of PCs

There is no such thing as a typical PC, just as there is no such thing as a typical car. Although both PCs and cars have common parts, different manufacturers arrange and design PCs [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…]

How to Identify the Indicator Lights on Your Laptop

Your laptop most likely has many more indicator lights than the typical desktop computer. This table lists some of the common lights, lamps, and bright, blinking things you might find on your laptop along [more…]

What to Pack in Your Laptop Case

A good laptop case is useful for holding more than just the laptop. When you travel, you should pack your laptop case with all those extra goodies that you may need. When you're at a loss about what to [more…]

Serial Ports on Your PC

Although the serial port may not be fossilized, it did originally appear with the premiere of the IBM PC. Serial ports have largely been replaced by USB ports [more…]

How to Move Your PC

You can move a desktop PC whenever you want. If you’ve been challenged to a LAN game at someone’s apartment or you’re moving to a new home, you can certainly take your computer. Your PC enjoys chaperoned [more…]

USB Peripherals for Your PC

The USB port is the most important standard PC connector on the planet these days. A USB port (see this figure) allows you to connect all sorts of peripherals, and USB ports are even becoming popular for [more…]

Traveling with Your Laptop

Before you take your laptop anywhere, you should always prepare it for the journey. Whether you’re jetting across country or walking to the neighborhood coffee shop, there are some things you should consider [more…]

Shutting Down Your PC

Many of these shutdown options are found on the official Shutdown menu, which you can access by clicking the triangle button in the lower-right corner of the Start button's menu [more…]

Common Netbook Characteristics

More than likely you've wondered just exactly what a netbook is and how it’s different from a laptop. Here's the lowdown. A netbook is a shrunk-down, lightweight laptop that often has these key features [more…]

Netbook Buying Tips

If you’ve researched all the available netbook models, done all of your homework, and narrowed your choices down to one or more netbooks, you’re almost there. Here’s some final advice for buying a netbook [more…]

Netbook Manufacturers' Web Sites

When netbooks first hit the marketplace, only a handful of computer manufacturers offered the little laptops. Now it seems everyone is making a version a netbook. When selecting a netbook, it's best to [more…]

Netbook Web Forums

If you're having problems with your netbook and can't get a good answer from an official support site, visit a Web forum. A number of user communities have popped up around popular brands and models of [more…]

Equipment for Building a Mid-Range PC

If you’re looking for a computer to browse the Web, e-mail, use simple desktop publishing software, or work with more advanced productivity programs (like spreadsheets and scheduling applications), then [more…]

Making Sense of PC Beep Code Descriptions

If your computer starts beeping, don’t worry; your PC is trying to tell you something. Here’s a guide to those PC beeps and what they mean: [more…]

What You Need to Build a Top-of-the-Line PC

If you want to build a first-class computer — a PC that does advanced computational work (like video editing), plays the latest computer games, and has high-quality video — then here’s the equipment you'll [more…]

Commonsense Rules for Computer Assembly

When you’re ready to put your PC together, keep these things in mind when you’re handling and connecting the computer parts to make assembly quicker, easier, and safer: [more…]

What You Need to Build a Basic PC

The basic, no-frills model PC will cost you the least to build. This type of computer is great for word processing, Internet e-mail, keeping track of finances, and simple applications that don’t need lots [more…]

How to Remove a PC Case

If you want to upgrade or fix a PC, you need to remove the case to get to the inner workings. The steps in the following list tell you how, and the figure shows the key components. [more…]

Tips for Safely Operating Your Computer

Antivirus software, when properly configured and maintained, is an important factor in protecting your computer and your information — but it can't do it all. Practice the following procedures when operating [more…]

Enter Your PC’s Setup Program

When you are troubleshooting a PC, you may need to enter the PC’s Setup program. Sometimes it’s called the Hardware Configuration Menu or the BIOS something-or-other. No matter what it is called, as the [more…]

Windows Shut Down Options

The Windows Shut Down Menu provides several options for stopping your computer. Understanding what each of them do will help you to choose the best option. [more…]

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