Computer and internet briefs
These days, it's difficult to have too many USB ports in your computer or notebook. If you're shopping for a new machine, prefer computers that come with at least four to six USB ports. Eight to 10 USB ports would be better still. If you are running out of ports on your computer, consider one of the many PCI- based USB add-in cards on the market or a USB expansion hub for your notebook.
Vista feeling sluggish? If you have a computer made within the past year or so, you'll probably benefit from adding as much system memory (RAM) as possible. The 32-bit version of Vista - the one that most of us use - can see up to 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM. These days, stocking your PC with lots of RAM is relatively inexpensive, and with more RAM, your Vista PC will work its best.
Before you purchase an inkjet printer, find out whether third-party manufacturers make refills for the model you're considering. Buying off-brand ink can save you a lot of money - and it makes sense if much of your printing does not demand the highest standards. Check out a web site such as Inkjetgoodies (http://www.inkjetgoodies.com) to research third-party inks. Just remember that using third-party ink will likely void the printer manufacturer's warranty.
Thinking about upgrading your software or applying the latest service pack? Think twice. The old saying "leave well enough alone" is doubly true for computer users. The interaction between hardware and software is complex enough so that a "patch" could cause more problems than it solves. Before you upgrade anything on your computer, make sure you have a complete system backup that you can restore should something get worse after the upgrade.
Do you really know how to use a computer touchpad? Touchpads are designed so that a light tap upon the surface corresponds to clicking the left mouse button. Tapping twice corresponds to double clicking. Gently moving your finger across the surface of the touchpad moves the mouse cursor on screen. ( Dpa )