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Screen Size


One way to make your computing experience a great deal more pleasant and productive is to replace your conventional 15" or 17" screen with one of the newer range of widescreen monitors.

Popular sizes range from 18" to 20", 22" and 24", with some going right up to 26", or 28" although these larger sizes can be a great deal more expensive.

Unless you have a very old (8 years plus) PC, your computer is normally able to use a larger monitor with no other modification, although a minor software update may be required to install the correct resolution settings.

The benefit of a larger is the increased amount you can place on the screen and still read what you are doing, you can actually have a Word document open on the left side of the screen and a browser window, such as Internet Explorer, or Firefox open on the right. If you have children you will appreciate the clear benefit of having the research material right alongside the homework document as it is edited.

Don't think you are excluded if you own a laptop either, I am currently writing this article on my laptop, but the laptop is sitting on my desk with the lid closed, I have a wireless keyboard and mouse connected and I am viewing my work a 24" monitor display. When I finish work, or need to go out, I simply remove the connections, open the lid and I have a fully functional laptop again.

It's not for everybody, but a 18" widescreen monitor can be as little as £80 plus installation. I recently quoted a 24" monitor for less than £132. If you feel able, you can buy the monitor yourself, installation is quite straightforward, but if you want the peace of mind that the settings are correctly set to your exact requirements, please give me a call.

TV or not TV?

Please note: Be careful not to confuse a computer monitor with the current range of flat screen TVs. The major difference between the two is that the TV includes a tuner unit to receive and display a TV signal from an aerial, or set top box. The more subtle difference is that the TV is designed to be viewed from several metres away and thus has a much lower resolution (a smaller number of dots on the screen). Up close the TV will appear grainy and sometimes blurry, compared to the crystal sharpness of a computer display that is designed to be viewed at a distance of 400mm (a little under 16").

Laptop Battery Nearly Dead?


Just like other rechargeable batteries, laptop batteries deteriorate over time, you can expect to get between two and five years use from a battery before it starts to last for less and less time between recharges.

This is not the calamity it seems to be, because replacement batteries are readily available and in most cases I can supply them for less than £50, sometimes less than half that.

Aside from the obvious benefits, such as freedom of movement, while working under battery power, there are other benefits, for example, if you are working on a conventional desktop PC and a power cut occurs, it is likely that whatever you are working on will either be partially or totally lost when you finally get the power back on. With a laptop there is no interruption to your work, or loss of data if you have forgotten to save your work when the power cut occurs, you simply continue to work on battery power.

Should you happen to be working on the internet (using a wireless router) when the power fails you will still lose connection to the internet, because most routers are mains powered, but at least your PC will stay on.

So if you have had your laptop for a few years and your 2-3 hour battery life is now less than 10 minutes, drop me a line and I'll give you a quote for replacement.