Why you may want a desktop instead of a laptop

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. A passionate cinephile, he also writes the Bayflicks.net movie blog.
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Patrick Moore asked the Laptops forum about the advantages of going with a desktop computer.

Laptops long ago surpassed desktops in sales, and tablets and smartphones are taking major market share from laptops. The tendency is clearly towards smaller, lighter, and more portable computing. But there are some good reasons to stick with a big box that sits on or below your desk.

[Email your tech questions to answer@pcworld.com.]

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Yes, you can still upgrade to Windows 7

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. A passionate cinephile, he also writes the Bayflicks.net movie blog.
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Arcticsid knows he can't continue using Windows XP. He asked the Windows forum about upgrading to Windows 7 rather than Windows 8.

Yes, you can still update to Windows 7. Not only can you buy the operating system; you can even buy a new PC that's running it.

But for how long can you use it? Microsoft will end Windows 7 mainstream support in January, 2015. That seems awful close, but it's really not a problem. After all, XP's mainstream support ended in 2009. The important date is when extended support ends. That will be January, 2020.

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Your Twitter account has been hacked! Here's what to do about it.

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. A passionate cinephile, he also writes the Bayflicks.net movie blog.
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Kirsty woke up to find that someone else had taken control of her Twitter account. I tell her how to get it back.

You have to fix this immediately. When someone else is sending out tweets and DMs under your name, you're in danger of losing your credibility.

The first thing you need to do is try to log onto Twitter. If you can do that, change your password. This will stop the Twitter thief in his or her tracks, and regain you control of your account--if the thief hasn't already changed the password and locked you out.

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Keep other people off of my PC

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. A passionate cinephile, he also writes the Bayflicks.net movie blog.
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Aris Cristian doesn't mind friends using his PC, but he worries that they might damage Windows or his files.

Generosity is a virtue, but so is taking precautionary measures. If a visiting friend needs larger-than-mobile Internet access while at your home, you don't want to deny it. But neither do you want new browser settings, a malware infection, or a formatted hard drive.

[Email your tech questions to answer@pcworld.com.]

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Sync Google Earth placemarks across different PCs

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. A passionate cinephile, he also writes the Bayflicks.net movie blog.
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Dick uses Google Earth on more than one PC. He asked how to sync placemarks between them.

Oddly enough, Google's extensive cloud services don't do much for Earth (the program, not the planet--although it probably doesn't do much for that, either). You'd expect that if you have a Youtube, Gmail, or other Google account, Earth would sync automatically. But it doesn't.

Luckily, there is a workaround, even if it's a bit clumsy.

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Convert text to image, and image to text

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. A passionate cinephile, he also writes the Bayflicks.net movie blog.
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Arcticsid asked the Answer Line forum about turning text into a .jpg. I'll also explain converting an image back into text.

Double-click any word in this paragraph. Your browser will select the word, and you'll be able to copy and paste it into your word processor or email program. But try double-clicking a word in the picture above (or in any of the other pictures in this article). It doesn't work. In the digital world, there's a big difference between real text and an image that looks like text--even if it's not always obvious to the user. Fortunately, there are ways to turn either one into the other.

[Email your tech questions to answer@pcworld.com.]

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The best Windows 8 Start menu programs

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. A passionate cinephile, he also writes the Bayflicks.net movie blog.
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TTGSteve asked the Windows forum to recommend a good Start Menu program for Windows 8.

Like a lot of people, I have a very low opinion of Windows 8's user interface. And one of the things I like least about it is the lack of a Start menu. That's hardly a unique opinion.

(And yes, the image above is a fake. I know of no program that can put the Windows 7 Start menu over the Windows 8 Start screen.)

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