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PCs: The Missing Manual Table of Contents

Here’s what you’ll find inside my latest book, PCs: The Missing Manual.

Part One: Your PC’s Main Parts

Chapter 1: Inside Your PC

  • Finding Out Your PC’s Horsepower
  • The PC’s Case
  • Opening Your PC’s Case
  • Motherboard
  • CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • Adding Memory (aka RAM)
  • Installing Expansion Cards
  • Ports
  • Power Supply and Battery

Chapter 2: Keyboards and Mice

  • Keyboard Basics
  • Mouse Basics
  • Game Controllers

Chapter 3: Monitors and Video

  • Monitor Basics
  • Installing a Monitor
  • Plugging Two Monitors into One PC
  • Plugging Two PCs into One Monitor
  • Using TV Sets as Monitors
  • Watching TV on a PC
  • Troubleshooting Your Monitor
  • Video Card (aka Display Adapter)

Chapter 4: Printers

  • Printer Basics
  • Installing a Printer
  • Choosing Printer Paper
  • Adjusting Printer Settings
  • Printing Envelopes
  • Printing Specialized Items
  • Printing Digital Photos Professionally
  • Printing Digital Photos on an Inkjet Printer
  • Printing Web Pages
  • Printer Troubleshooting

Part Two: Multimedia

Chapter 5: Digital Cameras, Camcorders, and Webcams

  • Digital Camera Basics
  • Moving Pictures from Camera to Computer
  • Moving Pictures from a Card Reader to a PC
  • Viewing and Editing Photos
  • Sharing Photos with Friends
  • Troubleshooting Digital Camera Problems
  • Camcorder Basics
  • Connect the Camcorder to Your PC
  • Editing Video with Windows Movie Maker 2
  • Editing with Movie Maker
  • Webcams

Chapter 6: Scanners

  • Choosing a Scanner
  • Installing a Scanner
  • Three Ways to Scan an Image
  • Using Windows Scanner and Camera Wizard
  • Digitizing Old Photos and Slides
  • Troubleshooting Scanners

Chapter 7: Sound

  • Understanding Sound Adapters (Sound Cards)
  • Sending Sound into and out of Your PC
  • Choosing Music File Formats
  • PC Music for Musicians
  • Troubleshooting Sound

Chapter 8: Digital Music Players

  • Choosing a Digital Music Player
  • Connecting Your Digital Player to Your PC
  • iPod and iTunes
  • Windows XP’s Media Player
  • Troubleshooting Digital Music Players

Part Three: Storing Information

Chapter 9: Hard Drives and Floppy Drives

  • Your PC’s Drives: An Overview
  • Hard Drives: An Introduction
  • Finding Your Hard Drive’s Available Space
  • Removing Unused Programs and Files
  • Speeding Up a Hard Drive
  • Installing a Hard Drive
  • Troubleshooting Hard Drives
  • Floppy Drives: An Introduction
  • Formatting a Floppy Disk
  • Installing a Floppy Drive

Chapter 10: CD and DVD Drives

  • CDs: An Introduction
  • Playing CDs
  • Buying the Right Type of Blank CD
  • Ripping CDs
  • Burning CDs
  • Duplicating CDs
  • Erasing CDs
  • DVDs: An Introduction
  • Playing DVD Movies
  • Buying the Right Type of Blank DVD
  • Specialty Disc Formats
  • Ripping DVDs
  • Burning DVDs
  • Buying a CD or DVD Drive
  • Installing a CD or DVD Drive
  • Troubleshooting CD and DVD Drives

Part Four: Talking to the World

Chapter 11: Getting Online

  • Different Ways to Connect to the Internet
  • Setting Up a Modem
  • Subscribing to an Internet Service
  • Setting Up an Internet Connection
  • Dialing into the Internet
  • Troubleshooting Online Connections

Chapter 12: Email

  • Choosing an Email Program
  • Setting Up Outlook Express
  • Composing and Sending Email
  • Reading and Processing Email
  • Managing Your Address Book
  • Email Etiquette
  • Troubleshooting Email Problems

Chapter 13: Surfing the Web

  • Choosing and Setting Up a Browser
  • Managing Forms and Passwords
  • Blocking Pop-up Ads and Other Nuisances
  • Browsing the Web
  • Viewing RSS Feeds

Chapter 14: Networking

  • Choosing a Network
  • Networking Hardware: What You Need
  • Setting Up a Simple Home Network
  • The Network Setup Wizard
  • Securing Your Network
  • Sharing an Internet Connection
  • Sharing Printers
  • Exchanging Files Between PCs
  • Sharing Monitors
  • Networking Two PCs
  • Troubleshooting Network Problems

Part Five: Maintenance, Security, and Troubleshooting

Chapter 15: Security

  • Backing Up Your Computer
  • Creating Passwords
  • Activating Windows Update
  • Preventing Theft
  • Phishing
  • Adware, Spyware, and Other Threats
  • Installing a Firewall

Chapter 16: Fixing Common Problems

  • Undeleting Deleted Files
  • Quitting Frozen Programs
  • System Restore
  • Resetting Windows XP Passwords
  • Troubleshooting Driver Problems
  • Speeding Up a Slow PC
  • Windows Activation
  • Windows’ Troubleshooters

Chapter 17: Advanced Troubleshooting

  • Watching Your PC Start
  • Editing the BIOS Settings
  • Replacing Firmware
  • Searching for Clues with Google
  • Reverting to a Program’s Older Version
  • Swapping Parts
  • Microsoft’s Knowledge Base
  • Last Resort: Data Grabs with Knoppix


Appendix A: Setting Up A New PC

Appendix B: Memory Cards and USB Drives (free)

  • Understanding Different Card Types
  • Moving Data Between Cards to Your PC
  • Moving Data Between a USB Drive and a PC
  • Making a USB Drive Travel Kit
  • Recovering Erased Photos from a Card

Appendix C: Other Cool Things You Can Do Online (free)

  • Faxing With Your PC
  • Gambling Online
  • Using Google Maps
  • Sending Greeting Cards
  • Instant Messaging
  • Playing Online Games
  • Creating a Web Site
  • Making Internet-based Phone Calls (VOiP)

Appendix D: Dealing With Technical Support (free)

  • Getting Good Tech Support
  • Sending Your PC to the Repair Shop

Appendix E: Packing a Laptop Bag (free)


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