Section A.2. Choosing Your PC s Location

A.2. Choosing Your PC's Location

The monitor goes on the desk; that's the easy part. But you can place the PC either beneath the desk, atop it, or even on an adjacent shelf, if the cables reach far enough.

Keep these considerations in mind when deciding where to plunk down that big box:

  • Easy access . You'll be pushing CDs and DVDs in and out of your PC's drive, and plugging in iPods, USB flash drives , and digital cameras . If your PC's USB ports reside in the back, make sure you can reach them fairly easily.

    Even better, buy a USB hub (see Section 1.8.3): a small box with a long cable that plugs into one USB port, letting the box perch atop your desk or PC, and putting four or more ports within arm's reach.

    Moving into a New PC

    The easiest way to move your old PC's informationits files, programs, and settingsonto your new computer is to perform a hard drive transplant : extract your old PC's hard drive and install it into your new PC (see Section 9.6 for details). That moves over everything: your operating system, your applications, your cute desktop picture, and so on. But that's like putting parts from an old car into a new one. Your new machine will constantly be throttled by the slow speed of your old hard drive.

    Instead, consider making the transfer by resorting to a method that requires a little spare time and a bit of thumbtwiddling. First, install your old programs onto your new PC using their original CDs.

    Next, use Windows XP's Files and Settings Transfer wizard (see Section 14.8.3) to pack up your old PC's files and settings and move them to your new PC. The wizard creates a huge backpack of files and settings. You can make the transfer, either by linking the two machines in a two-PC network (see Section 14.10), or by copying the file package to an external hard drive (see Section 9.6.3) and then moving that drive to your new machine.

    Complete the move by running the wizard again on your new PC to unpack the old PC's files and settings, placing them in their proper places.

    The wizard's not the only data-moving van on the block. Detto's $49.95 IntelliMover ( can also transport your files, and Alohabob's PC Relocator $29.95 ( claims to pack up not only your data but your programs, as well.

  • Ventilation . Those noisy fans inside your PC constantly suck cool air through your PC's vents, and then push the hot air out through that round hole in the back. Without that flow of air, your PC overheats like a jammed toaster.

    Find the vents on your PC's case; they're often rows of small holes in the case's side or front. Then make sure the vents aren't pushed flat against the side of a desk or a wall. The vents need an inch or two of clearance for the air to flow in; leave at least six inches of breathing room between the back of your PC and the wall.

  • Sunlight . Keep your monitor out of the glare of nearby windows. Sometimes tilting your display an inch to the right or left, away from the window, makes all the difference. When your desk's location makes glare unavoidable, drop by the computer store and pick up a glare filter a thin film that hangs in front of your monitor's screen to reduce or eliminate the glare.

PCs: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596100930
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 206
Authors: Andy Rathbone

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