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More Peripherals How-To

  • How-Tos: Create Essential Print Materials for Your Business

    Social media and online networking may be all the rage, but that doesn't mean you should neglect your small business's print presence.

  • How-Tos: Make a Professional Letterhead

    A professional-looking letterhead can make all the difference in how your business is perceived. If you do a lot of work with clients, branded stationery will streamline your communication and help your business look all the more professional.

  • How-Tos: Calibrate Your Home-Theater Audio

    Sound is a big part of a satisfying home-theater setup, and people tend to give a movie higher marks when they watch it with good surround sound audio than with simple stereo. So improving the audio listening environment in your family room or living room may yield a much more immersive HDTV viewing experience.

  • How-Tos: Help! Is my Homeplug Powerline adaptor out of range?

    I have a pair of Homeplug 200 megabits per second (Mbps) Powerline adaptors, broadband web access and a Speedtouch ST585 v6 router. The PC is located upstairs and connected to the router via a wireless access point. I've connected a Homeplug to the router. I installed the software to connect one device to the Speedtouch, but the computer doesn't detect the Homeplug. According to the instructions, it should be simple and straightforward. I have no idea where to go from here – can you help?

  • How-Tos: How to tune a TV tuner to pick up digital TV

    A reader is having trouble changing his TV tuner from terrestrial to digital TV. Here's our advice.

  • How-Tos: What to do if your printer starts printing in bands

    A reader wrote in complaining that a faithful old printer had started printing in bands, leaving gaps all over the page. Our expert diagnoses a blocked printhead, and explains how to fix it.

  • How-Tos: Print multiple images on a single page

    When it comes to printing images at home—whether they be drawings, graphic art, or photos—the cost of paper and ink add up quickly. That’s why it’s handy to know how to print several images on the same page.

  • How-Tos: Preview the print queue with Quick Look

    When you print documents with your Mac, they show up in your printer's queue. You can view that queue by clicking the printer icon in your Dock. Sometimes, though, it's difficult to tell exactly which documents are which in that queue--especially if you're printing a bunch of untitled or similarly-named files. Hints reader ppinheiro76 figured out a delightfully simple way to get quick previews of the files you're printing.

  • How-Tos: Solve printing problems with Preview

    Sometimes documents just don't print properly. My latest example: After filling out an expense report in Microsoft Excel, I tried to print it, but the document came out cut off on all four sides. I tried printing it again, specifying in the printer dialog that I wanted to scale the document to fit on one page; it still didn't work. I didn't know where the fault lay: Was it an Excel issue, a printer issue, or something else? But I didn't have time to investigate; I needed to get that expense report in the mail. My solution: I remembered a recent hint about opening two copies of a PDF at once, and used a variation on that to get the report to print.

  • How-Tos: Use printer profiles for colour fidelity

    Getting your prints to match what you see on your monitor is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when dealing with digital art or photography. This article explains how you can use printer- and paper-specific instructions—called profiles—to achieve more accurate results.

  • How-Tos: How to fix a working monitor that displays no picture

    My ViewSonic monitor refuses to display a picture. The LED blinks on and off for around 30 minutes, after which time the screen will often work following a restart. A local repair shop says there is nothing wrong with the hardware.

  • How-Tos: How to make your Wi-Fi connection faster

    Does your wireless network seem slow? A recent study by Epitiro, a UK-based broadband-analysis firm, shows that consumers lose an average of 30 percent of the data speed their broadband connection supplies when they use Wi-Fi connections in the home.

  • How-Tos: Use AppleTV video caching for faster AirPlay viewing

    One of my favorite features of iOS 4.2 (and later) and the second-generation Apple TV is that if I've taken photos or video with my iPhone, I can use Apple's AirPlay technology to stream those bits of media directly from my iPhone to the Apple TV—I don't have to first sync the media to iTunes or iPhoto. This makes it easy to, for example, show my mother-in-law the video I took of my daughter's first "solo" bike ride at the park.

  • How-Tos: How to upgrade from Windows 98 and keep the same printer, scanner, software

    I'm keen to replace my Windows 98 computer, but I want to be sure that I can continue using my software and peripherals before I do so. I have an HP 940c printer, an Epson Perfection 1200 scanner, Fujifilm and Olympus cameras with software that's compatible with XP and Vista, plus Microsoft Office 2007. Will I be able to continue using these in XP or Windows 7?

  • How-Tos: Create a Mothers Day card with iPhoto 11

    Mother’s Day is fast approaching, but that doesn’t have to mean giving mom just another basket of flowers or a phone call (not that she’d mind either or both). With iPhoto ’11, you can design a beautiful and memorable custom card to accompany your other heartfelt messages. Here’s how.

  • How-Tos: Clean Your PC, Inside and Out

    Disclaimer: we're not responsible if you turn your computer into a massive paperweight after trying one of the tips you're about to read. Cleaning a computer isn't rocket science, but certain techniques do carry more risk than others.

  • How-Tos: How to connect a wireless mouse to a Windows laptop

    My wife dislikes laptop touchpads and used to have a USB mouse that plugged into her Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop. She has now upgraded to a wireless mouse, but we can’t get it to work. We’ve tried three different wireless mice, all with the same lack of results. All three mice work fine on another Vista laptop and a Windows XP desktop. Windows troubleshooting reports: ‘This device is working properly’. Can you help?

  • How-Tos: How to turn a flat-panel monitor into a digital photo frame

    I have a redundant 19in flat-panel display that I can’t bear to throw away. Is there a simple way to turn it into a picture display?

  • How-Tos: How to transfer data from one hard drive to another

    I want to transfer data from a pair of portable hard drives to a new 1.5-terabyte (TB) drive. How do I copy across the contents? I have an Asus Z9200U laptop running Windows XP.

  • How-Tos: How to add a DVD drive to a netbook

    I bought a netbook for my wife. Since it has no optical drive, I also bought a USB-powered external Blu-ray/DVD drives and tried to use it to install Microsoft Office. This was recognised, but it won’t run or install Office, reporting USB controller error Code 43. The drive works on another PC, and tech support explained that it may be a problem with the power allocated to the USB ports. I returned it to them to inspect, but I’m curious as to whether this is a standard problem. I find it incredible that I can’t use a plug-and-play optical device on the netbook.


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