Help! My screen is suddenly upside down, sideways, or backwards!

Ah, yes…

Sometimes your cat decides to walk on your keyboard. Sometimes you just type the wrong key combination. And sometimes, all you have to do is bump or move your laptop in the wrong direction, and BAM!

Suddenly, the image on your screen is rotated to the left, rotated to the right, or even upside down.

The first time this happened to me, I darn near had a fit.

Not to worry though: It’s not Russian hackers doing it, and it’s rather easy to fix!

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Quick Fix: Laptop ethernet doesn’t work

The Amazing Ethernet DongleMost people these days use WiFi. I’m not one of them, because the idea of being bathed 24/7 in multi-gigahertz radio waves just isn’t that appealing.

If you’re like me, then that means you’re using the ethernet jack on your puter. And if your puter is a laptop, you may run into a terribly annoying situation where your ethernet just stops working one day.

In a laptop, you can’t replace the ethernet jack and internals without replacing the entire motherboard…

Fortunately, there’s a quick and cheap way to get your ethernet back up and running – without breaking the bank!

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Cheap Laptop Parts: Repair your laptop and save a bundle

Replace Laptop parts on the cheapLet’s say you’ve got an aging laptop. It doesn’t exactly run like new any more. Maybe the battery is a bit weak even on a full charge, or perhaps the fan makes a lot of noise even after you cleaned it out.

Traditionally, you’d have to pay a pretty penny for new laptop parts.

You’d also have a hard time finding instructions or guides on how to remove and replace any parts in your lappy.

Well, nowadays, things are a bit different.

You can get all kinds of laptop parts on the cheap, and all the how-to guides you’ll need are already out there just waiting for you on YouTube!

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How to Clean a Laptop with a Noisy Fan

One day, you turn on your laptop. Maybe noThere's a better way...thing happens, or maybe you get some error message about fan speed, or maybe you just get a “system halted” message. Then again, perhaps your computer works just fine, but it’s starting to sound like a vacuum cleaner because the fans are running at full blast!

At this point, you may be inclined to freak out. But don’t go there just yet…

If this sounds familiar, it’s because you probably read my earlier post, How to Clean the Inside of a Desktop Computer. This edition is specifically for laptops.

Usually, cleaning the fan and heat sink inside your laptop is a lot easier than you might think.

With a few dollars and a bit of bravery, you can “dust” inside your laptop (without taking it apart, hopefully) even if you don’t know anything about how computers work.

If you can dust your house, you can dust your lappy!

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How to Increase Your Laptop’s Battery Life A LOT with CrystalCPUID

Over a month ago in my post on the Intel SU2300, I promised I would create a simplified guide to installing and configuring CrystalCPUID. Well, it took a lot longer than I had hoped, but here it is!

CrystalCPUID is a lovely little piece of free software that can allow you to really, severely underclock your processor. We’re not talking SpeedStep underclock here – we’re talking running your 1.2GHz processor at 98 MHz.

That may sound a bit crazy, but it is apparently quite possible since I’ve done it myself on my little SU2300-powered lappy. My battery life jumped from 3 hours and 50 minutes to a whopping 7 hours. Of course, if I start watching videos or something, the processor jumps back up in clock speed, thereby draining the battery faster and reducing battery life. But if I’m just reading a PDF or something or surfing the web over ethernet, well, who needs their processor cranking along at anywhere near full speed?

So, without further ado, this is how you get CrystalCPUID working on your machine to extend your battery life!

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Notebooks, Netbooks, and Hot Air: Laptops Demystified

That's one SASSY laptop!
That's one SASSY laptop!

Back in the day, it was easy to select a portable computer. There was only one size: big suitcase. At that time, Apple’s portable computer was called the Macintosh Boulder, and it only weighed 1,264 ounces. Running through the airport with one of these “portable” devices was a lot of fun. Yes, life was good.

Fast forward a few decades, and laptops were just lower-powered portable computers. Then, a few years ago, something odd happened: everyone started demanding “desktop replacement laptops”. In short, everyone wanted a laptop that could do everything their desktop machine could do. The end result was a wide variety of laptops which were very powerful, but they suffered from poor battery life given the myriad of high-powered features packed inside them, like graphics chips that could let you play games on your laptop.

Enter the netbook: small, light, with up to 10 hours of battery life. But, they’re a bit on the slow side.

And today? Well, today we are on the verge of seeing a whole slew of new laptops with CULV processors. They’re going to be thin and light and have “long” battery lives… or so we’re told.

So, what the heck are you supposed to buy? Well, that depends on what you need and want. But hopefully, it will all be a bit more clear in a few minutes…

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A Tale of Two Techies: Life, Death, and Resurrection

StethoscopeMost people are not technically inclined, at least not to the extent that they know how to repair their own computers. When something goes wrong, the average Joe or Josephine must rely on “techies” to fix things up.

Some people simply call the company from which they purchased their computer. That’s easy enough, although I could tell you horror stories about the outsourced tech support many companies provide. Another option is to visit one’s local “computer shop”. Usually it’s the kind of place that’s family owned and operated. They usually sell components, build their own machines to sell, and service anything that’s brought in to them. They’re everywhere.

The problem is – as if the Big Name Manufacturer tech support wasn’t bad enough – many of these Mom and Pop places really have no idea what they’re doing. Or, they just want to rip you off.

Here’s a little story to illustrate my point.

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