Lincoln SpectorContributing Editor, PCWorld

When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema.

Why can't 32-bit Windows access 4GB of RAM?

32-bit processors and operating systems, in theory, can access up to 4GB of memory. So how come Qasim Zaib's PC, with 4GB installed, only sees 3GB?

What you need to know about accessing the Internet on a smartphone

Robert Harris asked me to explain the technologies and concerns around smartphone Internet access.

on techhive.com

The Malicious Safety OneCare Essential Defender: Straightening out Microsoft's confusing security tools

Microsoft has released a confusing selection of security programs over the years. Deborah Armstrong asked me to make sense of them.

Wi-Fi vs. Powerline

Charliehendricks281 needs to extend his network across a large house. He asked the Networking forum if a Powerline solution would make more sense than wireless.

Gain access to your PC without the logon password

2godballdaglory asked the Answer Line how he can boot an old PC with a password he no longer remembers.

How do you play Blu-rays on an older model HDTV?

Joe Blumenthal has an older HDTV without HDMI inputs. How can he connect a Blu-ray player?

on techhive.com

-ROM, -R, +R, +RW? Understanding the optical drive alphabet soup

Nick248 asked the Answer Line forum about optical drives. I figured it was time to go ver the various types of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, and the drives that read and write to them.

Clean your screen

Billyy asked the Laptops forum for screen-cleaning advice. My instructions also apply to desktop monitors, HDTVs, cell phones, and tablets.

Why you shouldn’t upgrade to Windows 8

Give users an OS that won’t make their computers behave like third-rate iPad knock-offs—and don’t frog-march people into a touch-centric PC world.

password

Learn to use strong passwords

Passwords protect every part of your online life. If you don't treat them properly, you're exposing yourself to a whole mess of trouble.

Shortcuts without arrows (and with names that don't include the word 'shortcut')

Mike Littman doesn't like those "pesky little arrows" that Windows displays on shortcuts, and asked how to remove them.

Can I recover a stolen laptop?

Justin Yuen asked if it's possible to recover a stolen laptop.

How long will Microsoft support Windows 7?

Robert Pepe asked when Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7. "Some say the end date is 2015, others say…2020. So what's the right answer?"

I've upgraded Windows, and now some of my hardware isn't working

Kennethjc17 upgraded his PC to Windows 7, then found that some of his hardware no longer worked. He turned to the Windows forum for help.

Can I recover some files and securely wipe others on a crashed hard drive?

Zeterjons asked the Utilities forum how to rescue files off of a physically crashed hard drive, while making sure that other files on that hard drive are destroyed beyond rescue.