TechBite: 2 Useful Gadgets & a Bass Rant

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By Steve Bass

Commercials are loud now, louder than I can ever remember…what can you do about it?

Worried your toddler (or for many of you, your great-grandchild) may reach up, grab your large-screen TV, and get bonked on the head? Or maybe you live in California or Nebraska (Nebraska?) and you’re frazzled thinking about earthquakes…what can you do about it?

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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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TechBite: Great Troubleshooting Tips and Tools

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By Steve Bass

Sure, there are God-only-knows how many Registry fixer-uppers that purport to get your computer back on track. And every few months, a slick magazine will promise that its 20 Secret Insider Troubleshooting Tricks article will restore your PC to  pristine condition. The nerve of those annoying insiders keeping secrets! (Here’s a revelation: I used to be one of those insiders)

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TechBite: Adios USB 2.0–Hello USB 3.0

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By Steve Bass

It’s not like I have anywhere important to go to, but I still hate to wait. That’s why I’m enjoying USB 3.0.

Let’s get the numbers out of the way; then I’ll talk practicalities.

USB specs are inflated… they always are. USB 2.0 is rated at 480 Mbit/s (about 57MB/s) while USB 3.0 is 4.8 Gbit/s (572 MB/s). In the real world, the only users getting these speeds are the marketing people who dreamed up the specs. On my PC, USB 2.0 moved files at 25MB/s and USB 3.0 can get up to 55MB/s.

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