Archive for ‘hardware

How to check a screen for dead pixels

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As you read this, you are looking at more than just the text on the screen.  What you are actually viewing are pixels.  Those are the extremely tiny dots that make up what is being displayed on your screen.  Depending on your screen, there could be many thousands of them or even more than a […] Read more »

Cover up your webcam – someone could be watching you

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When you are using your computer, and your webcam is always right there in front of you, do you ever wonder if it’s possible that someone, somewhere out there on the internet is looking at you?  A lot of people in the past would have said that’s being paranoid.  Unfortunately, it’s not a crazy fear […] Read more »

Weak home wifi signal? Add internet to any room in your home

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Do you have areas in your home where the wifi signal is weak?  Or, do you want to have an actual ethernet (wired) connection in a room other than where the router sits?  There is actually a pretty easy solution to that – WITHOUT running any new wires. Normally, if you want a WIRED […] Read more »

Replace your cables to speed up your internet

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Did you know that you might be able to increase your internet connection speed – just by replacing the ethernet cable?  It’s true! First of all, which cables are your ethernet cables? Your internet signal comes in on a cable that emerges from your wall.  It goes from there to the modem.  That cable […] Read more »

Lose the internet? Here’s what to do

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You know how it goes – you’re reading email or Facebook and you click on a link and nothing happens.  Or you get an error message like “Internet Explorer cannot display this web page”.   It might seem natural to think that something is wrong with Internet Explorer (which may very well be true, but that’s […] Read more »

No sound? Here’s how to get it working again

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At some point, you will probably be using your computer and suddenly realize that there are no sounds coming from the speakers.  What could have happened?  It was working fine earlier, but now you don’t hear a thing.   Frustrating?  Yes.  But usually fixable by following a few steps. How to fix the “no […] Read more »

The easiest way to speed up your computer

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It’s a question I am asked all the time… “My computer is so slow – how can I speed it up?” There are actually lots of different ways to squeeze faster performance out of your computer.  In fact, I wrote a book about it a few years ago (although that was targeted more toward Windows […] Read more »

Is your computer screen-saving, sleeping or hibernating?

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Like a human, your computer has varying levels of “sleeping” modes that it can use.  It might be screen-saving, or it could be sleeping, or it could be hibernating.  There’s even a new mode called Hybrid Sleep.  Let’s explore what each of these means. Screen-saving mode just causes some constant movement on the screen […] Read more »

Check the health of your hard drive

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One of the frustrating things about computers is that the hard drive can die at any time.  Sometimes this happens without any warning – it just crashes (are your files backed up safely in case that happens?).  In other cases, you might see some signs of hard drive failure – noises that aren’t normally there, […] Read more »

How to share your printer with anyone, over the internet

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It’s pretty common now for a house to have several computers and one printer.  Our house has been that way for a while – we all share the one printer, and most of the time it works out fine.  Sometimes, however, it would be nice to share the printer with someone else – maybe someone […] Read more »