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Turn off the new Windows search 4.0 area in your taskbar 

by on December 31, 2008

Q: Recently, a search option has been opening on my desktop every time I startup my Windows XP computer. How do I stop this from happening and how did it start?

A: Microsoft recently provided an update to Windows XP called Windows Search 4.0. By default, this new search tool appears every time you log onto your computer.

According to my research, the easiest way to keep Windows Search 4.0 from turning on automatically in Windows XP is to right-click on the Taskbar (the bar at the bottom of your screen). From the list that appears, go into Toolbars and uncheck Windows Search Deskbar. Then, restart your computer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are wireless connections really insecure and how do you see what others are doing? 

by on December 31, 2008

Q: You guys explained that wireless internet connections are not secure, but can anyone one actually see what someone else on another computer on the same household wireless connection is doing online on their computer? Obviously a lot of parents try to monitor their kids’ internet use. If wireless connections are so insecure why does anyone buy and install spyware? And why doesn’t anyone explain HOW you see what someone else is doing online in with a shared wireless Internet connection?

 
 

What should I be looking for in a small business laptop computer? 

by on December 31, 2008

Q: Hello, I’m looking to buy a laptop and I have no idea what to buy. I can’t believe it’s almost 2009 and I’m still computer illiterate even though I use them everyday. Not certain if I should buy a Dell or Lenovo. I Need it mostly to run a small, very small business. I Don’t want to pay too much money. I see they have them on sale from $499 and UP. I Don’t want to spend a lot of money and I am looking for a good deal. I have absolutely no idea what to buy. Please help.

 
 

What is svchost.exe and how come it is running on my computer? 

by on December 30, 2008

Q: My computer runs extremely slow. I opened the task mgr and I see several files called svchost.exe running. What are these?

 
 

Can an HP Personal Media Drive bay accept other portable hard drives? 

by on December 30, 2008

Q: Can an HP Personal Media Drive bay on a HP PC also except any external portable hard drives such as Western Digital, Seagate, etc?

 
 

Getting the best speed from a FireWire 800 card 

by on December 30, 2008

Q: What transfer speeds can I expect to get when using FireWire 800 interface cards? For instance, a FireWire 800 to PCI isn’t going to get you 800 MB per second, is it? Likewise, PCMCIA has speed limitations. These device manufactures don’t bother to provide details on interface limitations.

A: Excellent question! As you know, most computers do not have FireWire 800 built-in. Part of the reason for this is that FireWire 800 connections are often faster than the devices to which you are connecting. For example, traditional hard drives read/write data at speeds far below FireWire 800’s capabilities. Additionally, the Front Side Bus in many computers is too slow for FireWire 800.

But because FireWire 400 is slightly slower than many external devices, FireWire 800 is a great technology for many multimedia professionals. If you own a desktop computer, you will probably achieve the fastest FireWire 800 speeds by using a PCI Express card. For best laptop performance, you should use ExpressCard technology. The links below will help you to select the best Firewire 800 card for your situation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExpressCard
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394_interface
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#eSATA_in_comparison_to_other_external_buses

Tip: Although I and many other geeks feel that FireWire-based technology is superior to USB-based technology, Apple (the main creator of FireWire) and other companies are abondoning FireWire-based technologies in favor of USB-based solutions such USB 2.0 and the upcomming USB 3.0. Invest in FireWire-based solutions at your own risk!

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Which low end laptop is best for burning DVDs and watching movies? 

by on December 29, 2008

Q: I am looking to buy a laptop. I’ve looked at the Toshiba Satellite l305-s5915 for $399.00 and am not sure what warranty is offered. I also looked at the Compaq Presario cq50-139wm notebook for $299.00. I need to burn DVD’s, do spreadsheets, PowerPoint, watch movies, download music, etc. Are this adequate?

 
 

Which Motorola bluetooth heatset is better? 

by on December 29, 2008

Q: Which bluetooth heatset is a better quality? Motorola H375 or H500, both are at the sale price of $20.

 
 

Can I upgrade my graphics card in my toshiba laptop, it’s a a105-s1014? 

by on December 29, 2008

Q: Can I upgrade my graphics card in my toshiba laptop, it’s a a105-s1014?

 
 

Will upgrading my memory card stop my computer from freezing? 

by on December 29, 2008

Q: I have a ATI Radeon 4850 512mb video card. I was thinking of getting another 512 4850 or perhaps a 1gb 4850/4870. I use this computer on a 52″ 1080p Plasma. Will getting one of those cards and setting them up Crossfired to my card improve my performance? As is the computer freezes sometimes or is slow to respond for a few seconds and I suspect it is my video card or my CPU is not fast enough.

The rest of my system is an AMD 2.9ghz dual core, 2gb ddr2 800, a 550w PSU, and windows XP.