Laptop Repair Made Easy
All laptop computers include the Mobility Center for optimizing laptop settings. When you are working with laptops, you may also need to connect to a network projector, and there's an option for this, too. When you are working with Tablet PCs, you'll find even more accessories, including tools for configuring Tablet PC pens, Input Panel for entering text using a pen, and Windows Journal for creating journal entries using a pen.
From the Power Plan window, click the arrow to the right of Show Additional Plans. Note that Windows recommends the Balanced plan. This provides a balance of performance and energy savings that works when you use your laptop at home or on a short outing. For longer trips, the Power Saver and Power4Gear Battery Saving plans are best and will provide the longest battery life.
If you have ever done presentations using your notebook computer, you know the kind of nightmare you sometimes have to go through to get your display projected correctly on the projector screen find the right key combinations on your keyboard, toggle a couple of times, and so on. If you want to use the projector screen as an extension of your screen, you need to go to the screen settings and mess with the setup again.
If you're using a Tablet PC computer (a notebook computer that typically comes in one of two form factors a convertible laptop or a true slate-type tablet) or a notebook computer with Tablet PC-like hardware (such as a touch screen, digitizer screen with stylus, or a compatible external writing pad), Windows 7 includes a wide range of functionality related to handwriting recognition, pen-based input, and the like. We discuss these features in the next chapter, which is devoted entirely to Tablet PCs and other computers that have Tablet-like hardware, such as Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPCs) and the like.
Before using your Tablet PC or tablet-equipped PC with a stylus or other pointing device, you should probably take the time to configure the Tablet PC functionality that's built into Windows 7. If you have Tablet hardware, you'll see a few items in the shell that aren't available on non-Tablet hardware, including a handy way to select multiple items with a pen, a few new tray notification icons that appear over time, and the same reordering of Control Panel items that one sees when using Windows 7 with a notebook computer. With the exception of that last item, you'll examine these features throughout this chapter.
Windows 7 is the best version of Windows yet for users on the go. Whether you use a notebook computer, netbook, Tablet PC, or Ultra-Mobile PC, you won't get a better mobile experience than what's available in Microsoft's latest desktop operating system. This time around, Microsoft has fortified Windows 7 with an evolved version of the user interface, power management, and presentation capabilities that debuted in Windows Vista along with dramatically improved performance and a suite of mobile-oriented applications and utilities that tie it all together. You'll learn about each of these features in this chapter.
In mid-2002, Microsoft released the first version of Windows XP that was specifically targeted at a new generation of pen-based notebook computers called Tablet PCs. Logically named Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, this software wasn't, of course, the first to try to combine pens (or, really, styluses) with PCs. Indeed, as long ago as the late 1980s, innovative companies such as Go, Apple, and Palm were leading the way to a future of more ergonomic and natural interactions with computers. Even Microsoft got into the game in the early 1990s with a short-lived (and overhyped) product called Pen Windows that, frankly, amounted to nothing. The second Tablet PC type, and the one that continues today as the mainstream Tablet PC design, is called a convertible laptop. Shown in Figure 18-2, these machines look just like regular laptops, but with one difference the screen can be swiveled around and rotated back onto the keyboard, giving the machine a temporary slate-like form factor. In this way,...
One feature some people might miss with the new Start menu is the ability to quickly cause the system to shut down, restart, sleep, or hibernate using just the keyboard. In Windows XP, you could tap the Windows key, press U, and then U for shut down, R for restart, S for sleep, or H for hibernate (the latter of which was a hidden option). Because of the Start Menu Search feature in the Windows 7 Start menu, these shortcuts no longer work. However, you can still perform these actions with the keyboard in Windows 7. Now, however, you have to tap the Windows key and then press the Right Arrow key three times to display the submenu shown in Figure 4-21, which provides links to the aforementioned options as well as Switch User, Log Off, Lock, and, if you have a notebook computer with a docking station, Undock. The default option-on the button, not the menu is shut down.
Many computers, especially portable computers, have multiple network adapters. For example, a laptop computer might have a wired Ethernet connection and a wireless WiFi connection. This can lead to computers being connected to private and public networks simultaneously for example, a portable computer might be docked at the user's desk and connected to the private LAN, while the WiFi network adapter maintains a connection to the public WiFi network at the coffee shop next door. Even with only a single network adapter, a user might connect to a corporate VPN across a public wireless network. In Windows Vista and earlier versions of Windows, a single firewall profile was applied to all network adapters. In the previous example, this would lead to the portable computer applying a public firewall profile to the private LAN or VPN connection, which might block important management traffic. Windows 7 supports multiple active firewall profiles, which allows it to apply a public firewall...
If you have a mobile computer (that is, a notebook, portable, tablet, or laptop computer), you'll find that Windows 7 provides a tool called Windows Mobility Center and a special control panel that desktop computers don't have. To open the Mobility Center, shown in Figure 35.1, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Windows Mobility Center. The Mobility Center is designed to bring together in one window most of the settings that you'll want to change while using your computer remotely. The settings pertain mostly to power management, so you can make your laptop's battery last as long as possible, and display management, because many people use their laptops to make business and school presentations. Your computer's Mobility Center may display some or all of the following controls Wireless Network The icon shows whether you have an active wireless network connection, and the button can enable or disable your computer's wireless adapter to conserve power or gain privacy. If your laptop...
A quick warning If you turn this setting on and your computer is not connected to a battery backup, losing power increases you risk of data loss or corruption. If you are using a laptop, the chances of this are unlikely as you have a battery in the laptop that will act as a power source if there is an outage.
When you connect an external monitor or projector to a laptop's VGA, DVI, or HDMI port, or you connect a second monitor to a desktop computer, Windows 7 automatically detects the monitor. However, you must enable the additional display and specify how you want to use it before you can use it. In this tutorial, you learn how to extend your desktop to the secondary display.
With the Windows Mobility Center, you can change or access mobile PC related options all in one place. You no longer have to change mobile PC related options in different places. In the Windows Mobility Center, you can adjust volume level and power options, check your network connectivity, connect to an external display, enable presentation settings, and access the Sync Center, which helps you keep files up-to-date when you're working on different computers, such as a desktop computer and a laptop. You can make an option change in Windows Mobility Center, or click the icon on a tile to open the utility in the Control Panel, where you can make additional changes.
The central processor unit (CPU) chip and graphical processor unit (GPU) chip can be the two biggest energy guzzlers in a computer, but in most cases, they spend little of their time actually working. For example, as I type this chapter, my computer's CPU takes less than a millisecond to react to each keystroke and update the display. The CPU and display processor might be occupied with useful work much less than 01 of the time. Laptop processors take advantage of the relatively long lulls by slowing their processing speed or clock speed way down between bursts of activity, and this significantly reduces power consumption. Additionally, laptops can conserve energy by dimming the backlight lamp that illuminates the display, and by turning off hardware devices like the disk drive, DVD or CD drive, network adapter, and modem when they are not actively being used even the devices' interface electronics can be shut down.
In addition, Windows provides tools for sharing files and folders with computers that are not located in your home or in the same office (commonly referred to as remote computers). You can connect your computer to a network in a different location via modem, or via the Internet using the Communications accessory provided. With wireless technology, such as laptop computers or Bluetooth-enabled devices (keyboards, cell phones and PDAs), you can seamlessly setup, discover and connect to wireless networks. You can also share and synchronize files between your laptop and your desktop computers.
The Windows Mobility Center provides a central console for accessing the most commonly used mobile PC settings. On a laptop or Tablet PC, you can access the Mobility Center by right-clicking the Power icon in the taskbar's notification area and then selecting Windows Mobility Center. However, if you've disabled the display of the Power icon, you won't be able to access it on the taskbar. Instead, click Starts-Control Panels-Hardware and SoundsMobility Center. Figure 13-9. Managing laptop settings Figure 13-9. Managing laptop settings The control tiles available depend on the type of mobile PC and the mobile PC manufacturer. Typically, laptops have seven standard control tiles and Tablet PCs have either seven or eight standard control tiles. The most common control tiles are
If you have a laptop that you use at home, try the steps in the previous section first. You may already have a wireless connection available at home if your Internet service provider provided you with a wireless router (look for antennas), or you live in a facility with wireless provided to residents. If you have a laptop, you can't beat wireless for ease of connection and mobility. If you see an antenna on the ISP box, it supports a wireless connection. If your ISP box doesn't have built-in wireless support, you can add it using a device called a wireless router. Details are beyond the scope of this book. See Using the Internet Safely For Seniors For Dummies, by Linda Criddle and Nancy Muir (Wiley Publishing, Inc.), for more on wireless network security.
With the advent of powerful portable computers, the idea of a fully functional tablet-style PC crystallized as a specific focus for computer engineers and a select group of computer users ever since the 1980s. In the '80s, due to availability of miniaturized CPUs and their computational capabilities, handwriting recognition began taking strides as a developing technology. Numerous companies developed basic handwriting recognizers that could interpret simple text and numbers. Around 1993, the Apple Newton was released, stuffed with handwriting recognition technology claimed by Apple to be truly workable. Although the Newton was clever and innovative in many ways, and filled a void between the PDA and the laptop, its handwriting recognition was flawed too, and it soon fell prey to critical reviews.
VPN Reconnect also enables new types of mobile worker scenarios. For example, consider a mobile user who is traveling on a train and using a wireless mobile broadband card to connect her laptop to the Internet and establish a VPN connection to her company's internal network. As the train leaves the station, the user moves out of range of the train station's wireless access point, and the user's Internet connectivity is temporarily lost. The train comes into range of an access point at the next stop a few minutes later, and using VPN Reconnect, the user's VPN connection is automatically and seamlessly restored and she can continue doing her work.
In short, Microsoft is creating a cloud computing platform in which the PC is but a component. Like it or not, most computer users today don't typically use just a single device. People increasingly use multiple PCs (and or Macs), both in the home and at work. They have desktops and laptop computers they have smartphones, MP3 players, digital cameras, and other mobile devices. In addition, most users have a host of online personas via e-mail and instant messaging services, social networking memberships, e-commerce sites, and other online communities. Users manage these disparate components separately and with great complexity and difficulty.
Installing a modem is a pretty painless process these days. Your modem should come with straightforward installation instructions follow those, and you'll be online in no time. For an internal modem, you'll pop open your PC's case and insert the modem card into a free expansion slot inside the computer. For an external modem, it's a more simple matter of cabling it to a USB or serial port on your PC. (Don't forget to connect the power supply and turn it on ) A PC card modem simply plugs into your portable computer.
For example, it's a good idea to be able to find information about your computer network, including information about the connection from your computer to the network and from the network to the Internet . If you work on a portable computer and connect it to networks other than your own, you'll want to know how to change the network connection type. That way, if you connect to a wireless network (for example, at a friend's house), choose the Home Network connection type, and then realize that the network is unsecured, you can easily change the network connection type from Home Network to Public Network to safeguard your system.
You'll probably connect to a public network only when you want to connect to the Internet from a portable computer. (Individual computers cannot connect directly to the Internet they have to connect to an intermediary network that provides the Internet connection .) For example, you might connect to a free, pay-per-use, or subscription-based public network at an airport, restaurant, library, hotel, or other location. (I was at a highway rest stop last month that offered free Internet access from the picnic area ) If the network is provided free of charge, you might have immediate Internet access . Frequently, though, you will need to provide information, credentials, or payment in order to connect from the public network to the Internet .
As you've seen already, Windows lets you enter your current telephone area code and dialing prefix requirements so that when you're making modem calls, Windows uses the customs and prefixes appropriate for your local phone system. This capability is great if you use a portable computer. For example, at home, you might be in area code 415. At the office, you might be in area code 707 and have to dial 9 to get an outside telephone line. When you're visiting Indianapolis, you're in area code 317 and might need to use a telephone company calling card when making long-distance calls. Windows offers great support for these variations by letting you define locations, each with a separate local area code and dialing rules. As long as you've told Windows your current location, it will automatically apply the correct set of rules when making a dial-up connection.
Most desktop computers sit where they are installed, gathering dust until they're obsolete, and they participate in only one LAN. But portable computer users often carry their computers from office to office, docking or plugging in to several LANs. Although Windows 7 makes it very easy for you to manage different dial-up and VPN connections, it's difficult to manage connections to different LANs if the network configuration settings are manually set. If you need to commute between multiple networks that require manual configuration, you'll have to change the General settings each time you connect to a different network. I suggest that you stick a 3-by-5-inch card with the settings for each network in your laptop carrying case for handy reference.
Changes you make in the expanded Remote Desktop Connection dialog box are automatically saved in a hidden file named Default.rdp (stored in your default save location for documents), and they're automatically used the next time you open Remote Desktop Connection . But you might want to have several different Remote Desktop Connection configurations for connections to different computers. If you have a portable computer, you might want different settings for use with different connections to the same computer (for example, dial-up versus LAN).
If you are working on a portable computer that is running on battery power, the Power Saver plan will increase the length of time the battery charge lasts . If your work involves intense computer processes that are affected by your computer's performance, or if you want to keep the computer display from dimming when you don't use it for a short period of time, the High Performance plan might work best for you. The Balanced plan is designed to provide enough processing speed for daily work while minimizing power consumption
Optionally you can put the paging file on a faster separate hard disk a physical hard disk not just a second partition
Obviously, ReadyBoost won't work unless the USB memory key is plugged into your PC. This can be a bit of a hassle because you need to remember to keep plugging it in every time you break out your portable computer. Still, ReadyBoost is a great enhancement and a welcome feature, especially when a PC would otherwise run poorly with Windows 7.
Every computer you want to connect to your network requires a network interface card (NIC), also called a network adapter. Most computer and motherboard manufacturers include a network adapter on the board, which means that you can probably connect to a network easily, whether you are using a portable computer or a desktop PC, including one you built yourself. You can purchase additional network adapters at any office supply store or computer hardware supplier. Ethernet is the single most common wired network standard in the world, and on desktop machines, integrated network adapters usually fall into this category. All-in-one PCs and portable computers such as notebooks usually include both Ethernet and Wi-Fi adapters. Additional network standards exist, and they work very well with Windows 7, but Ethernet and Wi-Fi have the most use. This chapter discusses Wi-Fi and Ethernet only as network media for shared network resources. Aside from installation and setup differences, Wi-Fi and...
Whether you're working with the default settings or with custom settings, you can easily change the appearance and functionality of many of the basic Windows 7 system elements . You might want to explore different configurations to see whether you can improve your efficiency, or some changes might be necessary rather than optional. For example, when you travel with a portable computer, you might need to change the computer's time-zone setting or power-management options.
Windows 7 includes two cool tools to calibrate your display for text and graphics. These tools are especially useful for notebook computer screens, as they make your display much sharper. These two tools can be launched using Control Panes Appearance and Personalizations-Display.
When I move my laptop (or change my home network location) from a private to a public location, I am not able to connect to certain computers. If you have a laptop that moves between work and home, the properties of the Remote Assistance firewall exception in the Windows Firewall will change depending on whether your network location is classified as Private, Public, or Domain. In a Private location, the Remote Assistance exception is enabled by default. If you are using a UPnP NAT, the Remote Assistance exception will allow communications with the UPnP NAT to enable Remote Assistance connections that make use of UPnP. In a Public network, the Remote Assistance exception is not enabled by default and will need to be enabled using administrator credentials. In addition, the default
Multiple Active Firewall Profiles help to prevent a situation that can occur in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, when multiple network adapters are installed and one of them is connected to an unidentified network. If Windows cannot identify the network, it assigns the Public profile to that connection, which means that the Public profile is assigned to the entire computer, affecting all network connections. This likely disrupts the operation of some network programs or services because the Public profile has more restrictive rules by default than the Private or Domain profiles. Because of this scenario, on servers running Windows Server 2008 that are not expected to ever change profiles, it is recommended that you configure all profiles the same. This way, if the profile unexpectedly changes for any reason, the server continues to operate normally. It becomes more problematic on a laptop running Windows Vista because you really need separate profiles for different networks....
Before you use your laptop or Tablet PC for presentations, you may want to configure the default presentation settings (Figure 13-10). To do this, follow these steps Basic projectors connect to computers via a cable. To use this type of projector, you must connect the projector cable to your laptop or Tablet PC. Once you've connected the cable, you can connect your computer to the projector by completing the following steps At the office, you may find that your meeting rooms and conference centers have networked projectors set up for use during presentations. To use this type of projector, you must connect your laptop or Tablet PC to the LAN and then connect to the project over the network. In most cases, connecting your computer to the network is as simple as plugging in an Ethernet cable or ensuring that you are using the correct wireless network connection. 2. The first time you use a network projector with your laptop, you'll see a warning prompt about Windows Firewall, as shown...
Most new computers today are notebook models. A notebook or laptop PC differs from a desktop PC in that all the pieces and parts are combined into a single unit that you can take with you virtually anywhere. And since all components are built-in, you don't have to worry about making sure everything is connected
Do power settings really make a difference In a word, yes. You can not only achieve greater battery life on a portable computer with the appropriate settings, but you can save considerable amounts of energy on desktop computers. The green effect of reducing power consumption can be significant, whether you interpret green to mean saving dollars or saving the environment. Microsoft has published a white paper that describes the changes in Windows 7 power management and helps you to assess the energy savings, financial savings, and environmental savings of proper power management download it from w7io.com 0405. You can calculate your own savings using the Energy Star Computer Power Management Savings Calculator, a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet you can download at w7io.com 0406.
Using a firewall is simple, essential, and often overlooked. You'll want to be sure that all network connections are protected by a firewall. You might be comforted by the knowledge that your portable computer is protected by a corporate firewall when you're at work and that you use a firewalled broadband connection at home . But what about the public hotspots you use when you travel And it makes sense to run a firewall on your computer (sometimes called a personal firewall) even when you're behind a residential router or corporate firewall. Other people on your network might not be as vigilant as you are about defending against viruses, so if someone brings in a portable computer infected with a worm and connects it to the network, you're toast unless your network connection has its own firewall protection .
Various goofs, settings, conflicts, and or program malfunctions can cause a loss of sound in your projects. As a result, troubleshooting your sound system isn't always easy. One tip is in order here If you're using a laptop computer, ask yourself whether the sound stopped working after you hibernated or suspended the system. This problem is common on several laptops, and this bug might not have been worked out of Windows 7 for your sound chip set because some parts makers are still working through their transition to Vista drivers. Try rebooting the computer, and see whether the sound comes back to life. Another thing to look for is a manual volume control on the computer. Many laptops have a control that you can turn or push, often found along the edge of the computer itself. For example, Toshiba has a hardware volume controller on its laptops, and HP has a touch-sensitive slider pad that needs special software to be installed. Such settings override any settings within Windows. If...
If you have a laptop computer and carry it with you, you can connect to the Internet in many public locations. Many of these locations provide free, easily accessed connections, commonly called hotspots. To follow these steps, take your laptop to a library or coffee shop that offers a hotspot. 2. Turn on your laptop. After the Windows 7 desktop appears, wait a moment while Windows 7 searches automatically for available wireless connections, including private ones. You may see a notification in the taskbar for available connections or an icon with five vertical bars. Click the message or the icon for a list of available connections (see Figure 8-1). If you see a list, skip to Step 5. If wireless is off but you can't click the button, you may have a separate switch on the laptop that turns wireless on and off. Turn that wireless switch on then repeat Step 4.
Synchronizing Media Center with portable devices and laptops Using Media Center to burn your own CDs and DVDs Windows Media Center is one of the most innovative and entertaining technologies Microsoft has ever added to Windows. Essentially a wonderful, remote control-accessible front end to all of your digital media content, Windows Media Center helps you enjoy live and recorded TV shows, and digital videos, photos, and music. Media Center is equally at home in your living room or bedroom as it is in the home office or on a laptop during a cross-country flight. And in Windows 7, the Media Center environment has further evolved with added functionality and an improved user interface. It has also been made available in more versions of the operating system instead of just one or two as it was with Windows XP and Vista. Thus, it will reach a far wider audience than it did previously. In this chapter, we examine Microsoft's digital media solution for the living room, Media Center, as well...
This change will especially benefit enterprises that have a remote workforce with mobile computers because laptop users typically hibernate or sleep their computers instead of logging off. In previous versions of Windows, this meant that changes to user profiles might never get pushed up to the server, thus putting corporate data at risk. The change will also benefit enterprises that have mobile users who use virtual private network (VPN) connections to connect to their corporate network. VPN connections are typically initiated after the user logs on and before the user logs off, which again can prevent profiles from being properly synchronized to the server.
Be aware that Sleep holds your system state only as long as the computer has power. In XP, if the power failed, everything stored in the computer's RAM is lost. You'd end up doing a cold boot when the power is restored or, if it's a laptop with a dead battery, when you hook up your AC adapter to your laptop again. The good news is that in Windows 7, Sleep is more intelligent. When the battery level gets too low, the power management system in Windows 7 switches into gear and initiates Hibernation (which we'll discuss next). One of the more interesting features of recent versions of Windows, including Windows 7, is hibernation. Like Sleep mode, hibernation lets you pause your work and resume later, without laboriously shutting down and reopening all your applications and files. But unlike Sleep, Hibernate isn't volatile. If the AC power fails or batteries run flat, it doesn't matter because Hibernate stores the system state that is, the contents of memory and the status of all hardware...
Over the years, Microsoft has steadily improved Windows to better take advantage of the unique hardware features and capabilities offered by portable computers such as notebooks, laptops, Tablet PCs (including a smaller new generation of tablet devices called Ultra-Mobile Personal Computers, or UMPCs), and, in Windows 7, a new class of low-cost portable PCs called netbooks. For the most part, using Windows 7 on a notebook computer or other portable PC is just like using it on a desktop PC. That is, a notebook computer can do anything a desktop PC can, and Windows 7 doesn't have a limited feature set when you're using a portable PC. In fact, if anything, Windows 7 offers more functionality on portable PCs than it does on desktop computers. That's because certain features really only come to life when they're used on a portable PC. You may want to approach Windows 7 a bit differently when using a notebook computer. Certain operating system features, such as the user interface or power...
Microsoft Windows 7 is the seventh generation of the world's most popular computer operating system. Although the general look of Windows 7 resembles Windows Vista, Windows 7 offers many new and improved features to make computing on any type of PC easier. Whether you use a laptop, desktop, or a standard or small-sized notebook computer, Windows 7 is designed to make life easier for you. From printing to working with photos and other types of media, from using the Internet to solving problems, Windows 7 provides you with tremendous new tools.
One of the challenges with previous versions of Windows is how to share files easily with other users on the network. Suppose that you have multiple files on your notebook computer that you have created while you were in the office and when you go back home you want to use the files on your home desktop computer. Prior to Windows 7, you had to create a shared folder on your notebook, navigate to the Network Neighborhood on the other computer, and look for the notebook's shared folder.
With the idea of our laptop computers being even better than video games or movie theaters in some ways. We can isolate ourselves now, with our own personal laptop wide-screen movie theaters. Give me a stack of movies and a pair of headphones, and I'm gone for days, despite my heated complaints about the demise of the taller screens. I mean, what are computer makers and Microsoft and even Apple thinking Do engineers think that most of us use computers to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters that we've illegally downloaded from BitTorrent No, we're web browsing and writing documents in Office, such as PowerPoint presentations, Word docs, or Excel spreadsheets. These applications beg for taller not wider screens. If you're a writer, good luck finding a laptop with an old-fashioned 4 3 aspect ratio. Everything is now wide, meaning also not as tall. Translate more scrolling. (Incidentally, all the figures in this book are captured in 1024x168 resolution, which is a 4 3 ratio.)
You no longer have to change mobile PC related options in different places. With the Windows Mobility Center, you can change or access mobile PC related options all in one place. In the Windows Mobility Center, you can adjust volume level and power options, check your network connectivity, connect to an external display, enable presentation settings, and access the Sync Center, which helps you keep files up-to-date when you're working on different computers, such as a desktop computer and a laptop. Keeping track of the latest versions of all your files on your desktop computer and laptop can become a problem. With the Sync Center, you can keep files (including documents, music, photos, and in some case contacts) and other information up-to-date between your computer and mobile devices, network folders, and compatible programs. The Sync Center works with offline files and keeps them in sync.
A hardware device is any physical device that you plug into and is controlled by your computer. This device can be a network or modem card that you install inside your computer. It can be a printer or a scanner that you plug into the outside of the computer. When you plug or insert a hardware device into the appropriate port or expansion slot, Windows attempts to recognize the device and configure it for you using plug-and-play technology. Plug-and-play automatically tells the device drivers (software that operates the hardware and comes with Windows 7) where to find the hardware device. After a hardware device is installed, you can change settings and options to customize the way the device works. Plug-and-play technology will recognize most any kind of hardware device, such as a mouse, modem, keyboard, game controller, laptop battery, or secondary monitor just to name a few.
If your printer is disconnected, you can still queue up documents for printing. You might want to do this while traveling, for instance, if you have a laptop and don't want to drag a 50-pound laser printer along in your carry-on luggage. (It's hard to get them through security.)
The most common way to connect a network is to use a wired Ethernet connection, involving cables and equipment, referred to as a hub or switch. To determine whether your computer is Ethernet-ready, check the back of your PC or the side of your laptop You should see what looks like a very large phone connector jack. This is the Ethernet connector.
Which until late 2007 was his main data archive. From anywhere in the world, he could find an Internet connection. For someone who travels as much as Paul does, this kind of service is crucial he can't tell you how often he's been out on the road and realized he forgot to copy an important file to his laptop. With Log Me In, he was able to download those files and even remotely access the server UI over the Internet to perform other tasks. It was incredibly valuable.
Most network adapters have a power management feature that allows the operating system to turn them off to save power. Although you can also configure power management settings to wake the computer if the device becomes active, you should rarely do so, because this setting may cause the computer to periodically wake to refresh its network state. It may also cause a laptop to turn on when you don't want it to this may allow someone to attempt to connect remotely to your computer when you think it is off and safe.
To facilitate the use of RSS feeds (see Subscribing to RSS Feeds later in this part) and Web page subscriptions, Internet Explorer 8 supports offline browsing (as opposed to online browsing, which indicates being connected to the Internet). Offline browsing is especially beneficial when you're using a laptop computer and can't get connected to the Internet (as when in transit on a bus, train, or plane). It can also come in handy when you rely on a relatively slow dialup connection to the Internet (as with 28.8 or 33.3 Kbps modems), enabling you to download Web content during nonpeak hours and browse it with maximum efficiency during the peak surfing hours (thereby totally avoiding the World Wide Wait ).
If your computer is a desktop computer, you'll need to connect peripheral hardware devices such as a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse to it before you can use it. If your computer is a portable computer, such as a notebook or netbook, those devices are built in, but you might want to connect peripheral hardware devices such as a printer or a USB flash drive. Other common external devices are speakers, scanners, fax machines, external storage drives, and external media drives such as CD and DVD drives. Depending on your interests and how you use your computer, you might also use devices such as a microphone, video camera (commonly referred to as a webcam), fingerprint reader, joystick, touchpad, or drawing tablet . The point of all these devices, of course, is to make your computing experience more productive, more enjoyable, and (hopefully) simpler.
You might recognize the Offline problem If you have a portable computer that you sometimes use with your office network, and sometimes use out in the field, you probably make copies of important online documents documents stored on the network server on your laptop. But, if you make changes to one of your offline copies, the network's copy will be out of date. Likewise, if someone updates the original on the network, your copy will be out of date. And, trying to remember where the originals came from and who has the most recent version of a given file is a painful job. I admit that more than once I've accidentally overwritten a file I'd worked on with an older copy, or worse, overwritten somebody's work, because I wasn't paying attention to the files' date and time stamps.
Especially useful if you are running Windows 7 on a laptop, the power options have been simplified and rationalised. There are now two standard power plans for Windows, Balanced and Power Saver. Both plans can be modified by clicking the Change Plan Settings link to their right. Clicking on Choose when to turn off the display or Change when the computer sleeps and then, in when the display changes, clicking Choose advanced power settings will open a window where you have control over every aspect of the power management in Windows. This is an incredibly powerful feature and can be used to great effect to minimise power consumption, especially on a laptop. I would recommend this feature is used by experienced users only.
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