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  • Master your printer – not the other way around

    Posted on February 8th, 2021 at 01:40 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Master your printer – not the other way around

    By Michael Lasky

    “I hate printers, but I love what they can do!”

    That’s the mantra recited by just about anyone who has a printer attached to their computer. Of all the peripherals that connect to our PCs, printers seem to be the number-one troublemaker.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way. Paper jams, overpriced ink, print spooler logjams, wasted paper – these are just a few of the hassles whose remedies are addressed here. If your love/hate relationship with your printer is more hate than love, read on — and maybe, just maybe, we can flip that around with these expert printer tips and tricks.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.5.0 (2021-02-08).

  • Excess heat during laptop recharging?

    Posted on January 25th, 2021 at 01:30 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Excess heat during laptop recharging?

    By Fred Langa

    A reader is concerned: His laptop’s CPU temperature rises during battery-charging sessions. Why would the CPU heat up?

    Relatedly, what are normal CPU temperatures, anyway? What’s a safe temperature rise?

    Plus: A tiny freeware app that prevents PC overheating!

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.3.0 (2021-01-25).

  • Taking the plunge with a new PC

    Posted on June 3rd, 2019 at 02:20 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Buying a new PC was once a fairly simple shop-and-buy process. There wasn’t much to consider beyond memory and drive capacity — and maybe an upgraded video card.

    But recent innovations have made choosing a new machine more complicated. Intel’s Optane technology, for example, claims to make a hard drive as responsive as an SSD!

    See the full story in the June 3, 2019, AskWoody Plus Newsletter (Issue 16.20.0)

  • The Best Cheap Video Cards

    Posted on May 21st, 2009 at 08:56 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As I’ve described in my Windows Secrets Newsletter articles, there are two obstacles to turning a fairly-recent Windows XP machine into a Windows 7 powerhouse: memory and video cards.

    If you’re contemplating changing your WinXP or Vista PC over to Windows 7, start by running the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. That will tell you immediately if you have a show-stopper problem: no Windows 7 driver for a specific piece of hardware, for example, or no Windows 7 support for your favorite program.

    Based on experience with more than a dozen old Windows XP machines, if your PC passes Upgrade Advisor muster, you should also make two hardware changes: bring your memory up to 1 GB; and install a decent video card. Memory’s cheap. So are good video cards.

    Joel Durham at ExtremeTech just posted a thorough review of Budget Gaming Graphics Cards. In the $175 category, he recommends the ATI Radeon HD 4870. In the $100 category, he gives the nod to the  Radeon HD 4770.

    From what I’ve seen, putting $30 of additional memory and a $100 video card in a fairly recent Windows XP machine creates a very competent Windows 7 machine.

    Now the big question is… how much will Microsoft charge for Windows 7?