TechBite: Two Monitors? Heck, Make it Three!

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By Steve Bass

Listen to this concession: “Okay, yes, once you’ve used a two-monitor setup, going back to a single monitor sucks.”

That from my wife who last year resisted using a second monitor. It’s so darn quaint when she admits she’s wrong.

Judy found that out when I brought home a friend’s PC for repair, needed a monitor, and borrowed hers. (First rule of computing: Use someone else’s equipment whenever possible.)

The repair was taking longer than I expected — funny how computers do that to you — and, my pobrecita was feeling deprived.

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ASK THE PROS July Drive Management

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Howdy and Happy Independence Day to everyone in the US. The past week has seen more questions on drives and boot problems so I decided to take a good look at Windows Disk Management. Disk Management has always been a good utility, but starting with Vista and continuing into Windows 7, it has become a powerful and simple way to format and partition drives. You can manage the drive your booting from, or you can format and partition new drives for later installations and use.

Let’s take a look at this weeks question and see where it takes us.

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ASK THE PROS 2009 Booting and Burning

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Another busy week for ASK THE PROS. Some interesting questions that cover a lot of ground so let’s get to it.

Q. K. Woods asks: How do I make a bootable disk with an ISO file?

A. Thanks K. Woods, You are correct, an ISO image or file is used to make a bootable disk. It’s a CD image file that instructs your system to give a prompt to boot to CD when installing operating systems or anything that needs a bootable disk. They are also commonly used for Games.

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Windows 7 Beta Takes the Test

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It’s here, it’s public and it’s time to give it a spin. My Windows 7 64bit download was fast and uneventful. While it was downloading I dropped a new hard drive into my existing work box.The system is a couple of years old now and was built using a MSI P35 neo motherboard, Q6850 Intel Quad core, 2 gigs of memory and a once decent 8800GTX vid. card. A nice box when new, but now showing it’s age. I’ll need to double the memory for this to really be ready for Windows 7 and 64 bit computing, but I can add that later. Here are some PC Pitstop test results. [OVERDRIVE]

When Vista first appeared I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It didn’t take long before I realized it was not ready for prime time. It lived quietly on my laptop while recovering from its UAC-pendectomy.

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Ask the PC Pitstop Pros 2009

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Ready for a new and improved 2009? If so, let’s kick off the season with one that bothers everyone using Vista and IE7. It’s all about the icons and it droves us all crazy.

Q. Ron T asks: “I have Vista SP1 and IE7. The icons assigned by websites get switched to the generic box or to another icon. This is after I have the websites icon assigned to my shortcut. When I go to the website the old icon precedes the web address, but I can’t get it to my shortcut to that website. Thank s if you can help.”

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From Bloat To Craplet

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From bloatware to craplets seems like a logical progression for unwanted waste. Are computer manufacturers finally taking this logical approach to removing the crap-lets they’ve been dumping on us?

Yesterday I was setting up a new laptop for a friend. I wanted to get it out of the box and make sure there were no problems accessing the Internet. After testing and timing the laptops used for our last look at bloatware, I was worried that my friend would end up with a mess. Surprisingly the first boot went smoother than I expected. There was no flood of pop-ups or junk. Humph!

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