Your First Notebook PC [NOOK Book]

Overview

Using a notebook PC is different from using a desktop PC. Not only are the keyboard and screen smaller, you have to deal with battery life, notebook security, connecting to the Internet at Wi-Fi hot spots, and figuring out how to enter numbers without a numeric keypad. How do you do what you need to do on your new notebook PC?

Your First Notebook PC is the solution to your problems. This book focuses on how to shop for, set up, and use a new notebook PC. You?ll learn all about ...

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Your First Notebook PC

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Overview

Using a notebook PC is different from using a desktop PC. Not only are the keyboard and screen smaller, you have to deal with battery life, notebook security, connecting to the Internet at Wi-Fi hot spots, and figuring out how to enter numbers without a numeric keypad. How do you do what you need to do on your new notebook PC?

Your First Notebook PC is the solution to your problems. This book focuses on how to shop for, set up, and use a new notebook PC. You’ll learn all about different types of notebooks, unique notebook features, and useful notebook accessories. You’ll also discover how to get the most out of your notebook at home, at the office, and on the road–and how to troubleshoot any problems you might encounter!

Your First Notebook PC shows you how to:

• Choose the right type of notebook for your needs

• Set up and configure a new notebook

• Use Windows Vista and its notebook-specific features

• Connect your notebook to a wireless home network and the Internet

• Share files and folders with other users–and sync your files between two PCs

• Use your notebook to listen to music and play DVD movies

• Connect your notebook to an office network–and use it for essential business operations

• Use your notebook to give PowerPoint presentations

• Connect your notebook to a public Wi-Fi hot spot–and send and receive email from any location

• Keep your notebook secure when traveling

• Extend the life of your notebook’s battery

• Upgrade your notebook’s hardware

• Troubleshoot common problems

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132714860
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 10/15/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Michael Miller has written more than seventy-five how-to books over the past two decades, including Que’s Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics, Wireless Networking with Microsoft Windows Vista, Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource, and How Windows Vista Works. He has established a reputation for clearly explaining technical topics to nontechnical readers, and for offering useful real-world advice about complicated topics. More information can be found at the author’s website, located at molehillgroup.com.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction

Ten years ago, notebook PCs were expensive and relatively rare machines, at least outside of the corporate environment. I was using a notebook 10 years ago, but I was also in the corporate world. At that time, many traveling executives and most mobile salespeople had notebooks, but the typical office worker didn't, neither did the average small businessperson or home computer user. The notebook PCs of that era were thick, heavy things, relatively underpowered and definitely overpriced. You could buy a good desktop PC for $1,500 or so, but the lowest-priced notebooks went for $2,500 or more—and offered far less processing power, memory, and storage capacity.

Today, the world is different. Notebook PCs are still a little higher priced than comparable desktop models, but the price difference is just a few hundred dollars. Decent notebook PCs can be purchased for $700 or less, and their performance and capacity approach similarly priced desktop models.

Because of this evolution in notebook price and performance, notebook PCs now outsell their desktop brethren. Notebook sales overtook desktop sales in 2005 and continue to rise. Notebooks aren't just for corporate types anymore; today's notebook owner is just as likely to be a home user as it he is to be a traveling salesman.

My personal experience verifies the statistics. Over the past nine months, my friends and family have purchased eight new notebook PCs—and zero desktop models. Here are the most recent notebook purchases I've personally been involved with, in chronological order:

  • My girlfriend's youngest daughter, Amy, purchased a Toshibanotebook for college.

  • My girlfriend's oldest daughter, Kristi, purchased a Gateway notebook for college.

  • My girlfriend's middle daughter, Laura, received a Gateway tablet PC as part of her college's laptop computer program.

  • My friend Orson purchased a Compaq notebook to go along with his new broadband Internet connection.

  • My sister-in-law Stephanie replaced her defunct Toshiba notebook with a new Gateway model.

  • My nephew Alec received a new Gateway notebook as a high school graduation present.

  • My girlfriend's eighth-grade son, Ben, received a relatively new hand-me-new Gateway notebook to replace his older Gateway that bit the dust after five years of operation.

  • I purchased myself a new Toshiba notebook to replace the Gateway notebook I gave to my girlfriend's son.

That's a lot of new notebooks—and a lot of new notebook users. For some of these users, the notebook was their first PC. For others, who had used desktop PCs before, these were their first notebooks. For a handful, the new notebook replaced an existing notebook.

What all these users have in common is that they have to familiarize themselves with a new type of computer—and, in many cases, a new operating system. Most new notebook PCs currently come with Windows Vista installed, and Vista is a lot different from the older Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems, especially where notebook operation is concerned.

Every one of these users face a learning curve—the same learning curve you face if you've just purchased a new notebook PC. From opening the box and plugging everything in to learning how to operating Windows Vista to transferring files and settings from your old PC to your new one, you have a lot to learn about your new PC.

Even if you're already familiar with desktop PCs, operating a notebook PC is quite a bit different. Do you know how to configure your system for optimal battery operation? Do you know how to make the best use of limited hard drive space? Do you know how to connect to a public wireless hot spot? Do you know how to safely use your notebook while you're on the road? These are all issues you need to address if you're using a notebook PC—issues you never had to face with a desktop system.

Because so many people are switching to notebook PCs, and because operating a notebook is so much different from operating a desktop, I've written this book. Your First Notebook PC shows you how to get the most out of your new notebook PC, from the moment you first open the box to when you're sitting in Starbucks trying to send a file via email. There's a lot to learn, and I've covered it all within the covers of this book. How This Book Is Organized

Your First Notebook PC contains information of value to both new computers users and more experienced users migrating to their first notebook. To make finding the right information easier, this book is organized into five main parts, each focusing on a particular topic:

  • Part I, "Getting to Know Your Notebook PC," provides an introduction to portable computing, helps you choose the right notebook PC for your particular needs, guides you through the setup process, shows you how to use Windows on your new notebook, and provides step-by-step instructions for moving your existing files and programs from your old PC to your new notebook.

  • Part II, "Using Your Notebook in the Home," is for the home PC user with a new notebook. Here you find step-by-step instructions for connecting your notebook to a wireless home network and the Internet, sharing files and peripherals with other computers on your home network, using your notebook with an iPod, digital camera, or video camera, and playing games on your notebook.

  • Part III, "Using Your Notebook in the Office," is all about office use of a notebook PC. You learn how to connect your notebook to the office network, use your notebook for business, and give presentations with your notebook.

  • Part IV, "Using Your Notebook on the Road," takes your notebook out of the office or house and into public. You learn how to connect your notebook PC to a wireless Internet hot spot, send and receive email from the road, travel with your notebook (including how to breeze through airport security), play movies and music while you travel, extend the life of your notebook's battery, and make sure nobody steals your notebook while you're not looking.

  • Part V,"Getting the Most Out of Your Notebook PC," presents all the different accessories and software utilities available for your notebook. You also learn how to use your notebook as a desktop PC, upgrade your notebook's hardware, and troubleshoot common problems.

You don't have to read the book from front to back, of course; it's perfectly okay to read only those chapters that deal with particular issues of interest. It's your call. Who Can Use This Book

This book is written for notebook users of all levels, from beginners with their first PCs to more experienced users moving from a desktop to a notebook model. I do focus on Windows PCs rather than Apple models, so if you're a PowerBook user, there's little here for you. (Using Apple computers is a whole other book in itself... .) In addition, I focus primarily on notebooks running Windows Vista, because most new notebooks sold today come with some version of Vista already installed. If you use an older notebook or a corporate model running Windows XP or Windows 2000, most of the information here is still good, even if the particular instructions might differ somewhat. Conventions Used in This Book

I hope that this book is easy enough to figure out on its own, without requiring its own instruction manual. As you read through the pages, however, it helps to know precisely how I've presented specific types of information. Menu Commands

Windows presents an intuitive point-and-click interface. To indicate navigation through Windows and various software programs, I use the following notation:

Main menu, Submenu, Submenu.

All you have to do is follow the instructions in order, using your mouse to click through the various menus and submenus. For example, if I tell you to open the Start menu and select All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, you know to click the Start button and select the various menus and submenus in order. It's pretty easy. Web Pages and Manufacturer Information

Because we discuss notebook hardware, software, and accessories, there are a lot of web page addresses in the book, like this one: http://www.molehillgroup.com. When you see one of these addresses (also known as a URL), you can go to that web page by entering the URL into the address box in your web browser. I've made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the web addresses presented here, but given the ever-changing nature of the Web, don't be surprised if you run across an address or two that has changed. I apologize in advance.

Many of the web pages listed in this book deal with things you can buy for your notebook. These listings are for your information only; just because I describe a particular item doesn't mean I personally endorse it. (In many instances, comparable equipment from different manufacturers is equally deserving.) Know that the prices mentioned in this book are current as of July 2007 and are retail prices suggested by the manufacturer; actual street prices might be and probably are lower, depending on where you shop. Special Elements

As you read through this book, you'll notice several special elements, presented in what we in the publishing business call "margin notes." There are different types of margin notes for different types of information, as you see here.

Note - This is a note that presents some inter-esting but not necessarily essential information about a topic discussed in the surrounding text.

Tip - This is a tip that might prove useful for what-ever you're in the process of doing.

Caution - This is a caution that something you might accidentally do could have undesirable results—so take care!

There's More on the Web

Now that you know how to use this book, it's time to get to the heart of the matter. But when you're ready to take a break from using your new notebook PC, you may also want to check out my personal website, located at http://www.molehillgroup.com. Here you'll find more information about all the other books I've written and am in the process of writing. I'll also post any updates or corrections to this book, in the inevitable event that an error or two creep into this text. (Hey, nobody's perfect!)

In addition, know that I love to hear from readers of my books. If you want to contact me, feel free to email me at notebook@molehillgroup.com. I can't promise that I'll answer every message, but I do promise that I'll read each one!

But enough with the preliminaries. Turn the page and get ready to learn more about notebook computing!

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Part I: Getting to Know Your Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

1 Notebooks Versus Desktops: Differences and Similarities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Notebook PCs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

What Makes a Notebook PC a Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

What’s Different About a Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

What You Can Do with a Notebook PC–That You Can’t Do with a

Desktop PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Things You Need to Know About Using a Notebook PC Versus

a Desktop System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

2 Choosing the Right Notebook for You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Different Types of Notebooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Mainstream Notebooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Thin and Light Notebooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Ultraportable Notebooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Business Notebooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Tablet PCs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

Desktop Replacement Notebooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Multimedia Notebooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Gaming Notebooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

Sifting Through the Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Size and Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Screen Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Processing Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

Hard Disk Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

CD/DVD Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

PC Card and ExpressCard Slots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

Media Card Reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

Pointing Device . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33

Speakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

Inputs and Outputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

Networking and Wireless Connectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Bundled Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Other Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

Price . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

Choosing the Right Operating System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

Windows 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

Mac OS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

Choosing a Brand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42

Selecting Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Home Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

Business Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

Road Warriors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Power Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Audio/Video Enthusiasts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Hardcore Gamers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Shopping Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Weight Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

Look at the Screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

Go for the Bigger Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

Consider Alternative Models–and Competing Brands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

Buy an Extra Power Adapter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

Don’t Forget Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

Don’t Waste Money on an Extended Warranty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

Do Your Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50

3 Out of the Box: Setting Up Your New Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

Setting It Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52

What’s in the Box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52

Getting Ready to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55

Turning It On and Setting It Up–for the First Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

Powering Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

Setting Country and Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57

Agreeing to the Software License Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58

Entering Your Username and Password . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59

Entering Your Computer Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59

Configuring Security Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60

Setting the Time and Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60

Finalizing the Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61

Welcome to the Welcome Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63

Using the Welcome Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64

Closing the Welcome Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64

Registering Your New Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65

Registering Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65

Registering Your PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67

Uncluttering the Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68

Activating Microsoft Office Trial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69

4 Flip It Open and Click Start: Basic Notebook Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73

Turning On and Off Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74

Powering Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74

Powering Down–or Going to Sleep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76

Configuring Power Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76

Investigating the Keyboard–and Other Buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79

Understanding the Windows Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82

Using the Start Menu–and Switching Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83

Understanding the Start Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83

Launching a Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84

Switching Between Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85

Customizing the Windows Sidebar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86

Configuring Windows with the Control Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88

Personalizing the Windows Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89

Personalizing the Desktop Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89

Changing the Color Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90

Changing the Desktop Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91

Choosing a Screen Saver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92

Resetting the Time and Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93

Configuring Notebook-Specific Options with the Windows

Mobility Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94

Setting Up Additional Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95

Creating a New Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96

Changing an Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96

Uninstalling Unwanted Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97

Running on Battery Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98

5 Upgrading from a Desktop to a Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101

From Desktop to Notebook: Relearning How Things Work . . . . . . . . . . . .102

What’s New . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102

What’s Different . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103

Transferring Programs from Your Old PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105

Transferring Files and Settings from Your Old PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106

Using Windows Vista’s Easy Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106

Choosing What to Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106

Choosing How to Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107

Performing the Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109

Part II: Using Your Notebook in the Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117

6 Connecting to a Wireless Home Network and the Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . .117

Setting Up a Wireless Home Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118

Understanding Wireless Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118

Setting Up the Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119

Configuring the Wireless Router . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120

Securing Your Wireless Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121

Connecting Your Notebook PC to the Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122

Adding Wireless Capability to an Older Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122

Connecting to the Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123

Setting Your Network Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125

Disconnecting from the Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125

Managing Your Network Computers in Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126

Getting to Know the Network and Sharing Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126

Changing Your Network Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126

Viewing a Larger Network Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127

Changing Workgroups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128

Managing Network Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129

Connecting to the Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

Connecting via the Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

Connecting Without a Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132

7 Sharing Files and Peripherals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133

Configuring File Sharing in Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134

Enabling File Sharing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134

Enabling Password-Protected Sharing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134

Sharing the Public Folder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135

Sharing Other Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136

Sharing Complete Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137

Sharing Folders in Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138

Accessing Shared Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139

Viewing Shared Folders in Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139

Viewing Shared Folders in Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141

Sharing Files from the Public Folder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142

Sharing a Printer on Your Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143

Configuring Printer Sharing in Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143

Configuring Printer Sharing in Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144

Installing a Shared Printer on Your Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144

Printing to a Network Printer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146

8 Using Your Notebook with an iPod or MP3 Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147

Listening to Digital Music on a Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148

What You Need to Listen to Music on Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . .148

Getting to Know Windows Media Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149

Playing Music with Windows Media Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151

Creating and Playing Playlists with Windows Media Player . . . . . . . . .151

Ripping CDs with Windows Media Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .152

Burning Your Own CDs with Windows Media Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154

Using Your iPod and iTunes with a Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155

Getting to Know iTunes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155

Playing Music with iTunes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157

Creating and Playing iTunes Playlists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157

Ripping CDs with iTunes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158

Burning Your Own CDs with iTunes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159

Connecting Your iPod to Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160

Using Other MP3 Players with a Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161

9 Using Your Notebook with a Digital Camera or Video Camera . . . . . . . . .163

Using Your Notebook with a Digital Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .164

Connecting a Digital Camera to Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .164

Transferring Photos via Memory Card Reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165

Using Your Notebook as a Photo Storage Device . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .166

Editing Your Digital Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .167

Using Your Notebook with a Webcam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169

Connecting a Webcam to Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169

Sending Webcam Photos via Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170

Talking in Video Chats with Your Webcam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .171

Using Your Notebook with a Video Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .172

Buying a Video-Ready Multimedia Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .172

Connecting a Video Camera to Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173

Editing Your Video Movies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173

10 Playing Games on Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .175

Choosing a Notebook for Serious Game Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .176

Upgrading an Existing Notebook for Game Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177

Playing Games on a Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183

Using the Games Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183

Games for Windows–and the LIVE Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .184

Considerations for Notebook Gaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .184

Part III: Using Your Notebook in the Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187

11 Connecting to a Corporate Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187

Connecting Via Ethernet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .188

Understanding Ethernet Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .188

Connecting to the Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .189

Logging On to the Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190

Connecting Wirelessly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190

Connecting Automatically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190

Connecting Manually . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191

Logging On to the Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193

Connecting Your Notebook to a Docking Station . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193

Sharing Files over the Corporate Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .194

Sharing Files in Your Public Folder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .194

Sharing Files with Specific Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .195

Connecting a Windows Vista Notebook to a Corporate Network . . . . . . .196

Dealing with Corporate Security Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .197

12 Using Your Notebook for Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .199

Taking Notes with Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .200

Using Microsoft OneNote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .200

Using Other Note-Taking Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .201

Managing Your Calendar and Appointments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202

Using Microsoft Outlook’s Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202

Using a Web-Based Calendar Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203

Managing Your Contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204

Using Microsoft Outlook’s Contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204

Using Other Contact Management Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204

Keeping in Touch with Other Workers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205

Communicating via Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205

Using Instant Messaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .206

Connecting to Your Office Network While You’re on the Road . . . . . . . . .207

Using Your Notebook to Control Your Office PC from the Road . . . . . . . .210

Configuring Your Desktop PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .210

Connecting from Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211

Syncing Files Between Your Notebook and Desktop PCs . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211

Creating a Sync Partnership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212

Syncing Folder Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213

13 Presenting with Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .215

Using PowerPoint on Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216

Displaying Your Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217

Connecting Your Notebook to a Video Projector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217

Choosing a Video Projector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218

Making the Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219

Setting the Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219

Switching to External Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .220

Don’t Forget the Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .220

Tips for Giving a Great Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .220

Use a Remote Presentation Controller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .220

Use Big Fonts for a Big Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .221

Turn Off the Screen Saver–and Turn On Presentation Settings . . . . . .222

Carry a Backup Copy–or Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .224

Use Two Monitors and Presenter View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .224

Make Your Presentation More Professional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225

Part IV: Using Your Notebook on the Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .227

14 Connecting to an Internet Hot Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .227

Wi-Fi Hot Spots–What They Are and How They Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .228

Where Can You Find Wi-Fi Hot Spots? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .228

Wi-Fi Coffeehouses and Restaurants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .228

Internet Cafés . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230

Wi-Fi Hotels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230

FedEx Kinko’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230

Wi-Fi Airports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230

Wi-Fi in Public Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231

Wi-Fi Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231

Finding More Wi-Fi Hot Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231

Connecting to a Public Hot Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233

Enabling the Wireless Adapter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233

Selecting a Hot Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233

Setting the Network Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .234

Viewing Your Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .235

Logging On to the Hot Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .236

Disconnecting from a Hot Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .239

Changing the Order of Preferred Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .239

Connecting to a Cellular Data Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .240

Plusses and Minuses of Mobile Broadband . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241

Choosing a Cellular Data Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241

Working Securely in Public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .243

15 Traveling with Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .245

Accessorizing for Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .246

Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .246

Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .246

Power Cables and Adapters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .247

Removable Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .248

Essential Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .249

Flying with Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .249

Driving with Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .252

Boating with Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .254

Traveling Overseas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .255

Emailing from the Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256

Configuring Your Email Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256

Saving Email Messages on Your Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256

Using a Web-Based Email Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .257

Dealing with Blocked Outgoing Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .257

Printing from the Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .258

Tips for Traveling with Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .259

16 Playing Movies on Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .261

Using Your Notebook as a Portable DVD Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .262

Using a Proprietary Movie Player Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .262

Using Windows Media Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .262

Playing Movies on the Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .263

Playing Movies on a Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .264

Playing Movies in a Car . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .264

Downloading Movies from the iTunes Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .265

Playing YouTube Videos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267

Downloading the Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267

Playing the Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .269

Downloading and Playing YouTube Videos with RealPlayer . . . . . . . . .270

17 Extending Battery Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .273

Understanding Battery Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .274

Using Your Notebook on Battery Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .274

Configuring Your Notebook’s Power Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276

Recharging Your Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .280

Tips for Extending Battery Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .281

Dealing with the NiCad “Memory Effect” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .282

Recalibrating Lithium Ion Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .283

Determining When You Need a New Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .283

18 Protecting Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285

Physically Protecting Your Notebook Against Theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .286

Antitheft Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .286

Motion Sensors and Alarms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .287

Notebook Safes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .288

Tracking Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .288

Notebook Registration and Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .289

Theft Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .289

Protecting Your Notebook Against Data Theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .289

BIOS Passwords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .289

Windows Passwords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .291

Creating a Stronger Password . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .292

Fingerprint Readers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .292

File Encryption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .293

Tips for Preventing Notebook Theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .294

Protecting Your Notebook Against Computer Attacks, Viruses,

and Spyware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .295

Understanding Computer Attacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .295

Protecting Your Notebook from Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .296

Protecting Against Computer Viruses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .297

Protecting Against Spyware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .300

Practicing Safe Computing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .301

Part V: Getting the Most Out of Your Notebook PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .303

19 Using Your Notebook as a Desktop PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .303

Using an External Monitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .304

Connecting an External Monitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .304

Configuring Windows to Use an External Monitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .304

Using an External Keyboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .305

Connecting an External Keyboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .306

Configuring Windows to Operate with a Closed Notebook . . . . . . . . .307

Using a Numeric Keypad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .308

Using an External Mouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .309

Using a Notebook Stand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .310

Traditional Notebook Stands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .310

Notebook Coolers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .311

Using a Docking Station . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .312

20 Accessorizing Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .313

Notebook Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .314

Power Supplies and Adapters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .318

Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .319

Keyboards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .320

Numeric Keypads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .320

Mice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .321

Presentation Remotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .322

Portable Projectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .323

Audio and Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .324

Portable USB Hubs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .325

Memory Card Readers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .325

External Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .326

Portable Webcams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .328

Portable Speakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .329

Docking Stations and Port Replicators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .331

Notebook Stands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .333

Notebook Coolers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334

Lap Desks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .335

Security Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .336

Fingerprint Readers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .337

Wi-Fi Adapters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .338

Wi-Fi Locators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .338

Notebook Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .339

Portable Printers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .340

Other Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .341

21 Powering Up with Utility Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .343

Commercial Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .344

Maps and Directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .344

Security Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .344

Network Profile Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .345

Wireless Connection Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .345

Battery Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .345

File and Email Synchronization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .346

PC Remote Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .346

Freeware and Shareware Programs and Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .346

Network Profile Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .347

Hardware and System Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .347

Display Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .347

Memory Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348

Other Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348

Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348

22 Upgrading Your Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .351

What You Can–and Can’t–Upgrade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .352

Why Notebooks Aren’t Easily Upgradable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .352

Easy Upgrades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .353

Nonupgradable Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .353

Adding PC Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .354

Adding External Peripherals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .357

Upgrading System Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .358

Understanding Computer Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .358

Performing the Upgrade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360

Upgrading Memory via a USB Memory Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .361

Replacing the Hard Disk Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .363

23 Notebook PC Tips and Tricks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .365

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .366

Neat Working Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .367

Cool Working Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368

Printing and Faxing Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368

Touchpad Tricks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .369

Configuring Double-Click Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .369

Configuring Cursor Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .370

Configuring Touchpad Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .371

Tapping via the Touchpad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .371

Scrolling via the Touchpad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .372

Adjusting Pointer Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .372

Adjusting Sensitivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .372

Replacing Broken Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .373

24 Troubleshooting Notebook Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375

How to Troubleshoot Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .376

Using Windows Troubleshooters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .376

Troubleshooting in Safe Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .377

Going Back in Time with System Restore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .377

Setting System Restore Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .377

Restoring Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .378

Troubleshooting Common Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .379

Your Notebook Is Dead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .379

Your Battery Is Dead or Doesn’t Hold a Charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .380

Windows Freezes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381

A Program Freezes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .382

The Display Is Blank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .383

Your Notebook Won’t Turn Off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .383

Can’t Connect to a Wi-Fi Hot Spot or Wireless Network . . . . . . . . . . . .383

You Can’t Send Email from a Wi-Fi Hot Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .387

It’s Worth the Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .390

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .391

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Preface

Introduction

Ten years ago, notebook PCs were expensive and relatively rare machines, at least outside of the corporate environment. I was using a notebook 10 years ago, but I was also in the corporate world. At that time, many traveling executives and most mobile salespeople had notebooks, but the typical office worker didn't, neither did the average small businessperson or home computer user. The notebook PCs of that era were thick, heavy things, relatively underpowered and definitely overpriced. You could buy a good desktop PC for $1,500 or so, but the lowest-priced notebooks went for $2,500 or more—and offered far less processing power, memory, and storage capacity.

Today, the world is different. Notebook PCs are still a little higher priced than comparable desktop models, but the price difference is just a few hundred dollars. Decent notebook PCs can be purchased for $700 or less, and their performance and capacity approach similarly priced desktop models.

Because of this evolution in notebook price and performance, notebook PCs now outsell their desktop brethren. Notebook sales overtook desktop sales in 2005 and continue to rise. Notebooks aren't just for corporate types anymore; today's notebook owner is just as likely to be a home user as it he is to be a traveling salesman.

My personal experience verifies the statistics. Over the past nine months, my friends and family have purchased eight new notebook PCs—and zero desktop models. Here are the most recent notebook purchases I've personally been involved with, in chronological order:

  • My girlfriend's youngest daughter, Amy, purchased a Toshiba notebook for college.
  • My girlfriend's oldest daughter, Kristi, purchased a Gateway notebook for college.
  • My girlfriend's middle daughter, Laura, received a Gateway tablet PC as part of her college's laptop computer program.
  • My friend Orson purchased a Compaq notebook to go along with his new broadband Internet connection.
  • My sister-in-law Stephanie replaced her defunct Toshiba notebook with a new Gateway model.
  • My nephew Alec received a new Gateway notebook as a high school graduation present.
  • My girlfriend's eighth-grade son, Ben, received a relatively new hand-me-new Gateway notebook to replace his older Gateway that bit the dust after five years of operation.
  • I purchased myself a new Toshiba notebook to replace the Gateway notebook I gave to my girlfriend's son.

That's a lot of new notebooks—and a lot of new notebook users. For some of these users, the notebook was their first PC. For others, who had used desktop PCs before, these were their first notebooks. For a handful, the new notebook replaced an existing notebook.

What all these users have in common is that they have to familiarize themselves with a new type of computer—and, in many cases, a new operating system. Most new notebook PCs currently come with Windows Vista installed, and Vista is a lot different from the older Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems, especially where notebook operation is concerned.

Every one of these users face a learning curve—the same learning curve you face if you've just purchased a new notebook PC. From opening the box and plugging everything in to learning how to operating Windows Vista to transferring files and settings from your old PC to your new one, you have a lot to learn about your new PC.

Even if you're already familiar with desktop PCs, operating a notebook PC is quite a bit different. Do you know how to configure your system for optimal battery operation? Do you know how to make the best use of limited hard drive space? Do you know how to connect to a public wireless hot spot? Do you know how to safely use your notebook while you're on the road? These are all issues you need to address if you're using a notebook PC—issues you never had to face with a desktop system.

Because so many people are switching to notebook PCs, and because operating a notebook is so much different from operating a desktop, I've written this book. Your First Notebook PC shows you how to get the most out of your new notebook PC, from the moment you first open the box to when you're sitting in Starbucks trying to send a file via email. There's a lot to learn, and I've covered it all within the covers of this book.

How This Book Is Organized

Your First Notebook PC contains information of value to both new computers users and more experienced users migrating to their first notebook. To make finding the right information easier, this book is organized into five main parts, each focusing on a particular topic:

  • Part I, "Getting to Know Your Notebook PC," provides an introduction to portable computing, helps you choose the right notebook PC for your particular needs, guides you through the setup process, shows you how to use Windows on your new notebook, and provides step-by-step instructions for moving your existing files and programs from your old PC to your new notebook.
  • Part II, "Using Your Notebook in the Home," is for the home PC user with a new notebook. Here you find step-by-step instructions for connecting your notebook to a wireless home network and the Internet, sharing files and peripherals with other computers on your home network, using your notebook with an iPod, digital camera, or video camera, and playing games on your notebook.
  • Part III, "Using Your Notebook in the Office," is all about office use of a notebook PC. You learn how to connect your notebook to the office network, use your notebook for business, and give presentations with your notebook.
  • Part IV, "Using Your Notebook on the Road," takes your notebook out of the office or house and into public. You learn how to connect your notebook PC to a wireless Internet hot spot, send and receive email from the road, travel with your notebook (including how to breeze through airport security), play movies and music while you travel, extend the life of your notebook's battery, and make sure nobody steals your notebook while you're not looking.
  • Part V,"Getting the Most Out of Your Notebook PC," presents all the different accessories and software utilities available for your notebook. You also learn how to use your notebook as a desktop PC, upgrade your notebook's hardware, and troubleshoot common problems.

You don't have to read the book from front to back, of course; it's perfectly okay to read only those chapters that deal with particular issues of interest. It's your call.

Who Can Use This Book

This book is written for notebook users of all levels, from beginners with their first PCs to more experienced users moving from a desktop to a notebook model. I do focus on Windows PCs rather than Apple models, so if you're a PowerBook user, there's little here for you. (Using Apple computers is a whole other book in itself... .) In addition, I focus primarily on notebooks running Windows Vista, because most new notebooks sold today come with some version of Vista already installed. If you use an older notebook or a corporate model running Windows XP or Windows 2000, most of the information here is still good, even if the particular instructions might differ somewhat.

Conventions Used in This Book

I hope that this book is easy enough to figure out on its own, without requiring its own instruction manual. As you read through the pages, however, it helps to know precisely how I've presented specific types of information.

Menu Commands

Windows presents an intuitive point-and-click interface. To indicate navigation through Windows and various software programs, I use the following notation:

Main menu, Submenu, Submenu.

All you have to do is follow the instructions in order, using your mouse to click through the various menus and submenus. For example, if I tell you to open the Start menu and select All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, you know to click the Start button and select the various menus and submenus in order. It's pretty easy.

Web Pages and Manufacturer Information

Because we discuss notebook hardware, software, and accessories, there are a lot of web page addresses in the book, like this one: http://www.molehillgroup.com. When you see one of these addresses (also known as a URL), you can go to that web page by entering the URL into the address box in your web browser. I've made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the web addresses presented here, but given the ever-changing nature of the Web, don't be surprised if you run across an address or two that has changed. I apologize in advance.

Many of the web pages listed in this book deal with things you can buy for your notebook. These listings are for your information only; just because I describe a particular item doesn't mean I personally endorse it. (In many instances, comparable equipment from different manufacturers is equally deserving.) Know that the prices mentioned in this book are current as of July 2007 and are retail prices suggested by the manufacturer; actual street prices might be and probably are lower, depending on where you shop.

Special Elements

As you read through this book, you'll notice several special elements, presented in what we in the publishing business call "margin notes." There are different types of margin notes for different types of information, as you see here.


Note - This is a note that presents some inter-esting but not necessarily essential information about a topic discussed in the surrounding text.



Tip - This is a tip that might prove useful for what-ever you're in the process of doing.


Caution - This is a caution that something you might accidentally do could have undesirable results—so take care!


There's More on the Web

Now that you know how to use this book, it's time to get to the heart of the matter. But when you're ready to take a break from using your new notebook PC, you may also want to check out my personal website, located at http://www.molehillgroup.com. Here you'll find more information about all the other books I've written and am in the process of writing. I'll also post any updates or corrections to this book, in the inevitable event that an error or two creep into this text. (Hey, nobody's perfect!)

In addition, know that I love to hear from readers of my books. If you want to contact me, feel free to email me at notebook@molehillgroup.com. I can't promise that I'll answer every message, but I do promise that I'll read each one!

But enough with the preliminaries. Turn the page and get ready to learn more about notebook computing!

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Hi

    Hi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    ArticFox

    YUSH THEY ARE!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Hawk54

    NOTEBOOK UPDATE CHECK RES 1 FIRST!

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