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Bob Rankin: Blue Screen of Death on Windows 7

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By Bob Rankin

Windows 7 is the most stable version of the operating system to date. Still, it’s not unheard of to see the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death” suddenly pop up. It’s a serious warning of a major problem in your system and should not be ignored. Here’s what to do if you encounter the Blue Screen of Death on Windows 7…

Dodge Retort: Is Windows 7 more reliable than its predecessors?

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By John Dodge

Is Windows 7 really that much better from previous versions…or that much more reliable?

I am beginning to think not all that much given huge expectations for Win7. After using it for 18 months, my question is a fair one. Microsoft can probably show myriad stats to prove that it is, but there’s no substitute for personal experience over the long term.

Best Tips of 2010

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Each month we select the best of the tips submitted by members of the PC Pitstop community.

Check out our current and past favorites.

TechBite: Two Monitors? Heck, Make it Three!

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By Steve Bass

Listen to this concession: “Okay, yes, once you’ve used a two-monitor setup, going back to a single monitor sucks.”

That from my wife who last year resisted using a second monitor. It’s so darn quaint when she admits she’s wrong.

Judy found that out when I brought home a friend’s PC for repair, needed a monitor, and borrowed hers. (First rule of computing: Use someone else’s equipment whenever possible.)

The repair was taking longer than I expected — funny how computers do that to you — and, my pobrecita was feeling deprived.

Technologizer: Dell’s Streak–Is It a Huge Smartphone or a Tiny Computer?

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By Harry McCracken

The time I’ve spent with Verizon Wireless’s Droid X has made one thing clear to me: I like great big smartphone screens. As impressively elegant as the iPhone 4′s 3.5″ retina display is, the X’s 4.3″ superscreen makes for larger type and easier tapping. It’s like the difference between a highly refined sportscar and a roomy SUV. I hope phones in both sizes flourish.

And then there’s Dell’s Streak…which makes the Droid X look like a pipsqueak. At five inches, its screen is so expansive that it’s not clear upon first glance whether this device is a phone. It is. Or at least it can be one: The Dell executive I spoke with at a demo yesterday described the Streak as being “capable of making phone calls.” In other words, Dell sees it as a data device that does voice rather than a phone that does data.

TechBite: The Straight Skinny on HDTV Calibration

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By Steve Bass

A while back I gave you some advice for calibrating your PC monitor or high-definition TV. I thought it was pretty good stuff, but the very foundations of the Internet began to rumble and experts started writing. (I never know who’s reading my newsletter.) Here’s what I learned.

Extreme PC MakeOver #5

By Steve Hogan

Not bad! From bottom 46% to top 35% with a single click. Even a good system can get better with PC Matic.

Thanks Ray, it was good getting to know you and I hope you experience no Internet interruptions in the coming months. I can tell you’re going to enjoy the program and be sure to let your friends and family enjoy that PC Matic Home 5 installation license.

The Highs and Lows of Upgrading to Windows 7

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2009 was a great year at PC Pitstop. We have a lot to be proud of in the past year. We now have three products that can be considered best in breed, PC Matic, Optimize 3.0, and Driver Alert 2.0. More importantly, we have assembled an incredible team of dedicated and talented individuals. From development, to marketing, to customer service to technical support, we are striving to be the best we can be.

Black Screen of Death or Boatload of Advertising?

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“Black Screen woes could affect millions on Windows 7, Vista and XP”, is the title used for a post to Prevx’s website describing what they feel is a very troublesome problem. Prevx offered a download to fix the bug, and within a day fear was blogged far and wide blaming the problem on Microsoft, of course, and their darned security patches. Prevx has since backed off a little from their initial claim but you can get a taste here.

Technologizer: Worst PC in America Slideshow

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By Harry McCracken

Some PCs are born crummy. Some achieve crumminess. And some have crumminess thrust upon them. Those are my conclusions after judging our Worst PC in America contest, in which we asked you to tell us about really rotten personal computers–with the lure of a snazzy HP Envy 13 laptop to be awarded to the most outstandingly awful entry. Herewith, some highlights lowlights, including both once-decent machines that have fallen upon hard times and some systems that were kind of terrible and/or just plain odd from the get go.

TechBite – 5 Cool Web Services You Have to Try

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By Steve Bass

Readability: Read Web Pages Without Clutter
Junk and clutter: It’s the blaring banner ads and annoying boxes that slide across the screen that are ruining the Web. I avoid it all with a smart ad blocker — Ad Muncher, a miraculous tool.

But there’s still a problem.

Windows 7 – The Good, Bad & Ugly

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By Bill Pytlovany

Have you heard about Windows 7?

This week Microsoft is distributing the “Release Candidate” of Windows version 7. I’m sure you’ll be reading about it all over the place. Blogs like Ed Bott Windows Expertise and Paul Thurotts Supersite provide information on all the new features complete with screen shots and setup advice. Naturally, I like to focus on the unusual and this week I picked out some of my favorite and not-so favorite features.

There is plenty of good new stuff in Windows 7. New desktop backgrounds, screen savers and animation effects really make Windows 7 a graphical experience. I tend to look for the not to obvious new features. Here’s one that really makes sense.

ASK THE PROS 2009 Booting and Burning

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Another busy week for ASK THE PROS. Some interesting questions that cover a lot of ground so let’s get to it.

Q. K. Woods asks: How do I make a bootable disk with an ISO file?

A. Thanks K. Woods, You are correct, an ISO image or file is used to make a bootable disk. It’s a CD image file that instructs your system to give a prompt to boot to CD when installing operating systems or anything that needs a bootable disk. They are also commonly used for Games.