Let’s say you have a network of more than ten Windows computers connected in a local workgroup without a domain controller. One of the computers has a printer connected to it, and more than ten machines in the workgroup need to print at the same time.
Well, you might say, “Dude, get a server!” or “Dude, get a print server!”
True, that would solve the problem… But sometimes, things like money and technical knowledge are limiting factors in such cases.
The good news: It’s actually really easy to increase the limit and get everybody printing/sharing files in a very short time!
Every computer these days comes with a DVD/CD burner. They are seriously useful devices, especially since blank DVD media is now dirt cheap.
When your burner was new, it probably worked like a charm. As time went by and you tried different brands or types of media, you may have discovered that your drive didn’t burn as well any more. Sometimes it starts burning, but gets stuck in an infinite “blinking LED” loop, and you have to abort the burn and try again. Sometimes your optical disk drive (ODD) won’t read certain burned media.
Many people just assume that their drive is bad, and they buy a new one. After all, when you can pick up a good 22X DVD burner for $20, why not? But there is another even cheaper option that many folks simply don’t know about: you can usually upgrade your drive’s firmware for free!
Let’s say you’ve got a ginormous image that you’d like to print. Maybe it’s a picture of a map, and the resolution of the image is something like 2000 by 2200 pixels. Obviously, you could just print the image to a single sheet of A4/Letter paper, but you’d lose a lot of detail.
If you’re a serious Photoshopper, you’d probably just fire up that particular app and use the built-in functionality to split and print.
For the rest of us, however, that’s not exactly what we’d call “easy”. The good news is that Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 all give you a wonderful (AHEM!) application that does exactly what you need…
These days, netbooks are the “in” thing. You’ve no doubt seen them around – they’re like little teeny-tiny laptops. Generally speaking, they are slower than a regular laptop, but are smaller and have longer battery lives. For more details, see my post Notebooks, Netbooks, and Hot Air: Laptops Demystified.
If you are following the latest netbook craze, you will no doubt be aware that the new Pine Trail platform will be out probably early in 2010 – at least for netbooks. The new dual-core Atoms will most likely be released in Q4 of this year.
I’ve been packing my brain full of all kinds of specs and reviews and datasheets and whatnot, and I’m here to tell you that you can get tomorrow’s netbook platform today – if you know what to look for.