InformIT, Upgrading and repairing PCs, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Hardware and Windows Tips of the Day, Number 1 of a New Series

I’ve just completed my “30 Hardware and Windows Tips in 30 Days” series at, the umbrella website for Que Publishing, Peachpit, and other book imprints in the Pearson Education family.

Most of these tips are self-contained, but a few of them are ‘to-be-continued’ two-parters. I’ll be featuring a hardware and a Windows tip each day over the next couple of weeks.

Hardware Tip of the Day

Have problems with slow writing speeds with some types of DVD or CD media? Poor system stability? Problems with your CD or DVD drive recognizing new types of media? The solution is simple: get a firmware upgrade for your DVD drive.

Windows Tip of the Day

Tired of Windows Update rebooting your system at the worst possible times? Don’t like removing updates you never asked for and never wanted anyway? Put yourself in charge of Windows Update (XP, Vista).

Tune in tomorrow for another hardware and another Windows tip.


Speaking of Windows, you can now preview my forthcoming book Unleashing Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center. It’s available as a Rough Cut from the InformIT website. A Rough Cut is an unfinished version of the book that gives you an opportunity to see how the book is progressing. You can preview the book online or via PDF or preorder the book – all at a significant savings off the cover price.

Books, MaximumPC, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Discover the Difference in Home Networking in Vista

The home networking chapter from my book Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed: an Insider’s Guide to Supercharging Windows Vista is now available online.

Windows Vista’s networking features are among the biggest changes compared to Windows XP, and this chapter will help you understand how to master new features like the Network Center, network mapping, setup and management of wireless networks, helping Windows XP and Windows Vista coexist on a single network, and network troubleshooting. Whether you’re already using Windows Vista or planning to take a look at it this year, it’s a must-read.

Books, MaximumPC, Tech news, Windows Vista, Windows XP

On the Windows Beat…

I’ve been working hard on a couple of new Windows projects lately:

And, in addition to those, I’ve also been covering the Windows beat at Maximum PC’s website. If you haven’t dropped by lately, here’s what you haven’t seen yet:

  • Learn how to protect yourself from Windows Vista’s activation problems
  • Find out what reviewers think about Windows Vista’s backup, Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Windows Movie Maker HD utilities
  • Discover why your Windows XP system downloaded the performance-robbing Windows Desktop Search, and how to banish it – for good.
  • Find out how to protect your Windows XP system from the Mailto URI threat in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.
  • Learn how to become an unofficial beta tester of Windows Vista SP1 by making a few simple changes to your system.
  • And, on the brighter side, find out how the Atari 2600 VCS (now 30 years old!) inspired today’s booming console and PC gaming industry.

Discover how Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker and Windows Photo Gallery work together to make Windows Vista the most compelling multimedia platform for Windows yet. Get Mark’s new book Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed: an Insider’s Guide to Supercharging Windows Vista. It’s available at, Barnes & Noble, BooksaMillion, and other fine bookstores.