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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    LANGALIST PLUS

    Tuning Windows power settings boosts performance


    By Fred Langa

    Using the right combination of Windows Power Plan settings extends notebook battery life and saves energy when using any PC — and it can make some applications perform better, too.

    No matter what Windows you're using — XP, Vista, Win7, Server '08 — you may be in for a pleasant surprise when you see just how much control your power options offer.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/05/06/05 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.


    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-19 at 18:52.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Downloaded and installed "What's my computer doing." First it asked if I wanted it to install a Softronix toolbar. I said NO.

    After it installed, i tried to run it. Got a DLL error.

    When I started my browser, I found that the toolbar had been installed and that my start page had been changed, despite my having said NO to that, too.

    Uninstalled the entire mess. Not recommended.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    RE: keeping old parallel printers running

    You didn't mention one obvious solution - a PCI card. While USB to parallel converters may not provide full functionality any old PCI parallel port card should do the trick. NewEgg lists one for about 10 bucks. Certainly cheaper than the USB solution. Assuming, of course, he has a free PCI slot.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Another option is to use a newtork connected print server. I've been using the D-Link DP-300U 3-port server for several years. It has two Centronics parallel ports and one USB port. I've used it with WinXP, Vista and Win7. Another person in the house has an iMac G5 connected via WiFi and it works perfectly for Apple stuff too.

    This little box is a bit tricky to set up but once it's working, it just works. If you have problems, search the web for tips. I use it for an old but trusty HP 5MP laser and a Canon S9000 large format inkjet (USB).

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    I remember those old Panasonic printers. We had several where I worked, and I can understand the need for impact printers even now. I think the best option is that card. I used on on a machine several (many?) years ago, and it worked fine. That was an XP machine and some ancient DOS programs that were needed.

    I remember that series of printers, and taking a wide-carriage one apart to get the jammed labels off the roller mechanism.

    Grins,

    RobM
    Grins,

    Rob M
    "Running" Windows since 1986

  6. #6
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    John Fox said: RE: keeping old parallel printers running

    "You didn't mention one obvious solution - a PCI card. While USB to parallel converters may not provide full functionality any old PCI parallel port card should do the trick. NewEgg lists one for about 10 bucks. Certainly cheaper than the USB solution. Assuming, of course, he has a free PCI slot."

    I can confirm Mr. Fox's advice. I have a modern printer with a USB port as well as a Centronics port, with up to date drivers. It never worked from USB, directly or via USB-Centronics converter, with XP or Vista. A PCI to LPT plug-in card did the trick. I've had to use these cards several times, and they've always worked.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Jones View Post
    Downloaded and installed "What's my computer doing." First it asked if I wanted it to install a Softronix toolbar. I said NO.

    After it installed, i tried to run it. Got a DLL error.

    When I started my browser, I found that the toolbar had been installed and that my start page had been changed, despite my having said NO to that, too.

    Uninstalled the entire mess. Not recommended.

    Linda, I went directly to the program's site to download and I was successful. I also had that same error coming from Softonic.
    This is the direct address. WhatsMyComputerDoing
    The program is just so-so and really not all that informative.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Fred,
    Regarding Centronics parallel interfaces in a USB world, I suggest looking into a parallel print server like a Netgear PS101. One end connects directly to the parallel port on the printer, while the other plugs into your switch or router via RJ-45 Ethernet. As I write this, they are available on eBay for prices starting at $.99 including power supply and software. The added advantage of using this device is that you can access the old parallel printer from any computer on your network without sharing.
    --Michael

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