Hardware Tips and Tricks

How Do You Know if It’s Hardware or Software That’s Behind a Problem? by Kelly Lynn

  When your computer decides to act up, how do you decide if it's a hardware problem or a software problem that's behind it? The tips that follow should help you determine where the cause of your problems lies. When your computer has slowed down Computer magazines and knowledgeable people often talk about older computers being slower. If you aren't that familiar with computers, you may misinterpret what they actually mean. A computer can be slow in two ways. One way is when it takes too much time to complete simple, everyday tasks such as starting up or opening programs. The second way is when it grows obsolete because modern programs make demands that it can't meet. An obsolete computer doesn't exhibit slowness when performing everyday tasks. Any computer from the last … Continue reading

Keyboard Troubleshooting by Kelly Lynn

If you begin to experience problems with your keyboard not working or some of the keys not responding, the first thing you should try is to Press CTRL+ALT+DEL (all at the same time). Depending on what version of Windows you have, you should get the Task List. In Windows 7 you may be given a list with the last option being Start Task Manager and that is the one you select.  A box will pop up that says Windows Task Manager. In the image above, you will see a list of all tasks currently running including this tutorial being created called “Keyboard Troubleshooting”. On the right hand side you will see in the title bar, the word “Status”. Under the Status column it indicates which programs are running as shown … Continue reading

How to Watch Video Files Stored on Your Portable Hard Drive by Kelly Lynn

External hard drives have grown in popularity as people have started to use their computers to acquire and watch more large-file media. Movies, television shows, and other video items account for some of the largest files on many people’s computers. After downloading a few movies, a computer’s hard drive can begin to slow down and available storage is greatly reduced. External storage gadgets are an excellent solution to this problem, but a hassle arises when the user then wants to watch the video on their television. Historically, users would have to transfer the file from the external storage drive back to the computer’s main storage drive and then attach the computer to the television using cables. Fortunately, new technology has enabled users to watch files stored on their external units … Continue reading

How to Share Photos Safely and Securely Using a Portable Flash Drive by Kelly Lynn

It has become common to anxiously wait for a friend or relative to upload photographs to Facebook after a recent vacation or event. There are many photo websites that provide storage and sharing capabilities. While these sites are often password-protected, many feel uneasy posting family photos on the Internet. Further, it is often impossible to download and save images without paying a fee and it takes a tremendous amount of time to download an entire batch of pictures. Using a small portable storage drive, you can securely share photographs with your friends and family for free. 1. Purchase a USB storage drive that has enough storage space to hold all of your images. These small devices are sometimes called flash drives, thumb drives, or jump drives. They are rewritable and … Continue reading

How to Add a Printer to your Shared Home Network by Kelly Lynn

Once you have a wireless network set up at home, you will soon feel spoiled by the freedom of accessing the Internet from anywhere in your house. You can e-mail from bed, track your Fantasy Football stats in front of the TV, and look up recipe information from the kitchen. After growing accustomed to this level of convenience, you will likely feel bothered if you have to walk downstairs to print a picture or document. Traditionally, it was necessary to plug your computer directly into the printer in order to print. Fortunately, you can set up your home wireless network so that all networked computers share the same default printer, regardless of whether they are physically connected to the machine. 1. From the main network computer, go to the Control … Continue reading

How to Choose a Mobile Internet Dongle That Suits Your Needs by Kelly Lynn

Along with web access on our phones and public Internet hotspots, there is another option for those who need reliable Internet while they’re out and about. Many cell phone service providers now offer direct web access via a small USB device, commonly referred to as a “dongle.” Here are some tips to make the most of these handy devices. 1. Consider your bandwidth usage needs. If you will only be using the dongle to check your e-mail at cafes or other locations, it may not be necessary to subscribe to a data-heavy plan. On the other hand, if you will be downloading movies, TV shows, or large amounts of image files, you will need to spend more money to maintain a good and reliable connection speed. 2. Decide on a … Continue reading

How to Adjust Your Computer’s Brightness for Each Hour of the Day by Kelly Lynn

The default brightness for a majority of computers is set to a level most suitable for mid-day use. The level is light emitted from your screen is meant to mimic the sun. When you’re checking your e-mail at lunch time this is not a bad thing, but if you are working on a paper late into the night or checking in for a flight in the early morning hours, the brightness of your computer screen can be jarring or uncomfortable. Some individuals complain that experiencing bright computer light in the evening makes it difficult for them to fall asleep. F.lux is a software program that adjusts the brightness and color of your computer screen based on your location and the time of day. By taking into account the type of … Continue reading

How to Use Your iPod for Portable Storage by Kelly Lynn

There are many types of mp3 and portable music players available, but anyone who walks down a busy city street at rush hour can tell you that the iPod has become the most ubiquitous. A decade after its initial launch, iTunes now comes standard on many computers or is one of the first programs users download to accommodate their music collection. Aside from the ability to carry your favorite songs with you wherever you go, many iPod owners don’t realize just how functional this gadget can be. While iPods can store a large number of music files, they can also provide a more general level of portable file storage. You can use your iPod to save and transport valuable computer files, documents, software, and more. As each new generation of … Continue reading

How to Store Files Using a Flash Drive by Kelly Lynn

Computers seem to offer more and more storage space each time a new hardware upgrade is released. While this is hugely convenient, sometimes users wish to transport only a few files from one place to another without having to carry their laptop or resort to e-mailing the files to their own e-mail address to access later. Flash drives, also referred to as thumb drives, jump drives, or USB drives, provide a quick and simple option for portable storage. 1. Select a flash drive that suits your needs. If you plan to use the drive as a way to move a few Word documents from your home computer to your work computer, you might not need a large amount of storage. Flash drives with less storage will be more affordable than … Continue reading

How to Properly Install Additional Hardware on Your Computer by Kelly Lynn

Are you the typical computer user who is not adventurous enough to explore his/her computer? You’re so worried that you might break something that you don’t make any effort to learn everything there is to learn about it. You would rather spend money hiring someone to install a simple video card for you even when you are more than capable of doing it yourself.   Contrary to what some people may think, installing computer hardware is not difficult to do. It is actually very easy and, in fact, it is difficult to get it wrong. The reason for this is because these components are designed in such a way that it will only fit a certain port, slot or bay. If you try inserting it somewhere else, it will not … Continue reading