Stories by Stan Miastkowski

Step-by-step: Keep a clean keyboard

Don't look now, but your PC's keyboard may have its own alien ecosystem growing in the dark recesses beneath the keys. Dirt and dust coat the keys and build up underneath. Sometimes the accumulated mixture of spilled drinks and crumbs can stop keys f...

Building a secure wireless network

The era of the unconnected PC has largely passed into history. Beyond the home office and children’s rooms, PCs are popping up in such formerly unconventional locations as the kitchen counter or a shelf in the living room. A network will let you sha...

Step-By-Step: Get maximum speed from your new drives

It's a buyer's market for drives. Low prices for fast CD-RW drives, cutting-edge rewritable-DVD drives, and the most recent generation of high-capacity hard drives make it a perfect time to upgrade. But unless you do some installation planning, you m...

Bullet-proof your PC with a software firewall

A firewall is an absolutely necessary tool in every computer user’s defensive arsenal, along with an antivirus utility. Firewalls are programs (sometimes hardware devices) that are designed to protect you and your system from the legions of hackers, ...

Reinstall Windows

No matter which version of Windows you run, at times your PC will start to become unstable — especially if you often install and uninstall software or change hardware. System lockups or the dreaded Blue Screen of Death can spoil your day.

Add high-speed ports for turbocharged peripherals

The latest high-performance per­iph­erals — including scanners, external drives, and DV camcorders — are shipping with new interfaces. USB 2.0 and FireWire offer higher speeds than older USB 1.1 ports, and they’re hot-pluggable. Only the newest PCs s...

Improve your PC’s graphics performance

Over the past year, a new generation of PC graphics cards has been exploiting cutting-edge video processors and fast memory to provide eye-popping performance, especially in 3D games and other graphics-intensive applications. In addition, many graphi...

Reclaim hard-drive space

Today's hard drives feature jaw-dropping amounts of space. But no matter how big your drive, you'll be amazed at how quickly application installs, browser caches, and temporary files can eat up your free space and clutter your system.

Care and Feeding of the Windows Registry

The Registry is the essential part of Windows - a big, complex database that stores all the configuration settings for your software and hardware in a hierarchical form like file folders. You don't often need to deal with the Registry, because Window...

Master the Windows XP upgrade process

Microsoft hype to the contrary, deciding whether to upgrade your current version of Windows to Windows XP isn't exactly a no-brainer. Certainly, XP has some neat new features and is more stable than its predecessors, but it requires you to have fairl...

Keep it powered, keep it cool

They may not be as glamorous as ultrafast CPUs, enormous hard drives or the latest 3D graphics cards, but cooling and power components are the oft-forgotten workhorses of every PC.

Edit digital video on your PC

Home video has gone digital. The current generation of mini-DV (digital video) camcorders produce all-digital data that you can download to your PC, edit, and then write back to a fresh tape without losing quality as you copy and manipulate the video...

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

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Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

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Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

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Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

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Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

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HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

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Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

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Budget

Back To Business Guide

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PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

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