Stories by Kirk Steers

Do-it-yourself security protects home, office

Is that summer downpour flooding your basement? Did Rover get into the garbage again? Is your 50-inch flat-panel TV still in place? Find out from anywhere by using your PC to create an affordable home surveillance system that you can access over the ...

Installing a new hard drive

In real estate, they say you can never have too many closets. On your PC, you can never have too much hard drive space. Whether your current drive is topping out or you want the security of a RAID array with automatic data backup, there are always go...

Upgrading your PC's RAM

Adding RAM is often the most cost-effective upgrade you can make to speed up a sluggish computer. PCs that had more than enough RAM when they were new often have trouble keeping up with the demands of the latest programs after a few years. New operat...

Making your PC hardware Vista-ready

Computers are in transition: Technologies such as the PCI Express bus and all-digital video connectors are supplanting their predecessors. More important, Microsoft's new Windows Vista is right around the corner. Anyone who's thinking of buying PC ha...

Improve your image: 13 graphics tweaks

Think about this: You spend almost as much time in front of a computer monitor as you do sleeping. Shouldn't you do everything you can to make your viewing as comfortable and trouble-free as possible? If you've recently upgraded to an LCD monitor, yo...

The correct equipment makes PCs all ears

If you aren't already talking to your computer, you probably will be soon. Whether you're making low-cost phone calls over the Internet, dictating e-mail via the latest voice recognition software, or chatting with fellow online gamers, you need to ma...

Prepare hardware for a Windows reinstall

Sometimes the only way to rid your PC of rogue software and other maladies is to revamp your Windows installation. Follow these four tips to keep your hardware on good terms with your reinvigorated Windows setup.

Maximizing your notebook's battery power

Sooner or later, every laptop owner asks the same question: How long will my battery last? For most people, sadly, the answer is the same: not long enough. But there are plenty of things you can do to squeeze every last minute of power out of your no...

Check notebook power

Do your laptop's batteries give out before you think they should? Intel's Power Monitor utility may be of use . . .

Optimise your multimedia to avoid video hassles

A CD-ROM-based video should run as smoothly on your PC monitor as a VHS tape does on your TV screen. Jerky video playback can ruin a presentation or debilitate a fast-paced game. Does video playback on your system seem less than fluid? Here's how to ...

Cut down on clicks

If endless typing has you worried about the health of your wrists, remember that continual mouse-clicking can cause just as much damage. Here's how to eliminate double-clicking . . .

Find fast answers

Need answers to hardware questions fast? Despite the wealth of information online, you should keep a few good reference books on hand. Here's our list of the best.

Soup up your swap file

When your PC needs to access more data than its installed RAM can store, Windows places the overflow in a large file on the hard disk known as the swap file (often called virtual memory). Since accessing data on the disk is much slower than accessing...

Repair your CD-ROMs

Repairing scratched CD-ROMs could be as easy as cleaning it with a soft cloth and mild, soapy water. Here's how . . .

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PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

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