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PC User's Bible by John Ross;Kelly L. Murdock

By John Ross;Kelly L. Murdock

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The modular structure of a desktop computer also contributes to its ease of repair. The most common troubleshooting methods include swapping parts to identify a bad component, and moving expansion cards and cables from hard drives to a different socket. This may not be possible on a laptop system with only a limited number of sockets. Even the screws that hold things together are bigger inside a desktop case than the ones inside a laptop. Bigger screws are often easier to insert and remove, and they’re always easier to find when you drop one on the floor (especially on a carpet).

A few laptops with larger screens — some more than 20 inches — are available, but they’re extremely expensive, and a screen that big makes the whole computer less compact and portable. Small keyboard The size of a laptop computer’s keyboard is limited by the width of its case. Except for a unique unfolding butterfly keyboard that IBM tried and abandoned in the mid-1990s, a laptop keyboard cannot be any wider than the lower half of the clamshell. Even though laptop keyboards don’t include all of those extra keys that appear to the right of the traditional typewriter keys on a desktop keyboard, the individual keys on a laptop are often smaller and closer together than those on a separate keyboard.

Just about everybody who owns a computer needs some kind of technical assistance at one point or another over the life of the machine. Therefore, the warranty and the support services supplied with a new computer are often just as important as the processor and the keyboard. It’s entirely possible that the quality of service and support is the biggest difference between a brandname computer and a comparable unit from a screwdriver shop. In this chapter, you can learn how to read and evaluate a product warranty before you buy your computer, and how to deal with the world of customer support to help keep your computer working properly and to obtain answers to your questions.

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