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PC Hardware Annoyances by Stephen J. Bigelow

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PDA ANNOYANCES

REPLACE WORN STYLUS TIPS

The Annoyance:

I wore my stylus tip down to the nub. Do I need to dump this stylus for a new one, or can I just replace the tip?

The Fix:

A stylus should slide smoothly and evenly over your PDA display. Still, a slight amount of wear eventually erodes the plastic point. This wear can impact your pen gestures and writing style, so it helps to have a new tip (the same way a sharpened pencil makes for neater writing). Most PDA makers sell inexpensive replacement styluses, but some PDA and tablet PC makers use styluses with replaceable tips. For example, Gateway’s Tablet PC series ships with replaceable stylus tips and a replacement tool. Use the tool to grasp the old point and pull. Insert a new point and apply slight pressure to set it in place.

IMPROVE ERRATIC FILE SYNCHRONIZATION

The Annoyance:

When I sync my PDA and laptop, I get terribly slow and jumpy file transfers.

The Fix:

PDAs and laptop/desktop systems generally sync using infrared (IR) links. However, IR links need to be unobstructed and very close together (no more than a few feet). Excessive distance or dirty IR windows can impair communication and slow the effective data transfer speeds. If the problem persists, synchronize the devices with a USB or serial sync cable. Although less convenient than a wireless IR connection, a hard cable connection will usually offer much better speeds.

You can also configure the speed through the IR port properties. Open the System control panel, click the ...

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