ZyrrahXD asked the Utilities forum for advice on recovering missing files.
If a file, multiple files, or a folder goes missing from your hard drive, you've got a pretty good chance of getting it back. And the better your computing habits, the better your chances.
But first, a warning: Every time you write to your hard drive, you reduce those chances. So avoid using your computer for anything other than file recovery until you've either successfully recovered the files or given up.
A surround sound system turns a television into a home theater. Without it, you can never approach the audio experience intended by modern-day filmmakers (or even some filmmakers from the 1950s). Sure, your HDTV can probably fake surround, but it's not going to sound like the real thing.
That real thing requires a receiver (sometimes called an amplifier), and several speakers. You can buy everything in a single package, or get the receiver separately from the speakers (you should purchase the speakers together). You'll get a better deal if you buy everything in one package, although hardcore audiophiles usually prefer to buy them separately.
LiveBrianD surveyed the HDTV & Home Theater forum to find out who gave up cable TV, preferring to stream content off the Internet.
Whether you're using cable, satellite, or FIOS, you can save a bundle by discontinuing that service. So long as you keep your broadband Internet connection, you'll find plenty of entertainment.
To easily watch Internet content, you'll need either an Internet-capable HDTV, or an Internet-capable device that connects to your television. Either way, it should offer plenty of streaming options. You can buy a good, Internet-capable Blu-ray player for about $100.
RisheekRajolu asked the Windows forum how best to make Windows 7 to go to sleep, and to hibernate, at the appropriate times.
Microsoft designed Windows 7's power management with an eye towards ease of use. Such an approach often sacrifices versatility for simplicity. Luckily, stronger power options are there if you know where to look.
But first, let me explain the difference between sleep and hibernation. When a PC enters sleep mode, it saves electricity by shutting down most of its components. But it uses some power to keep Windows, running programs, and data in RAM, allowing it to wake up almost instantly. When a PC hibernates, it copies everything in RAM to the hard drive, than shuts down the hardware completely. It takes longer to wake up, but while it's down it saves even more power.
In On What Media Should I Backup My Photos, I recommended archiving to DVD+Rs, and discussed the issue of whether these discs are stable enough for long-time storage. Philip Peters wrote me and brought up another issue: Will we have drives that can read DVDs in ten, 20, or 50 years?
It's impossible to say with complete confidence what present-day media will be supported by readily-available hardware when our grandchildren have grandchildren. But we can make educated guesses. And I'm guessing that DVDs and CDs will be readable, with some moderate investment, for a very long time to come.
When a medium has enjoyed wide consumer popularity for a significant amount of time, the market for players stays alive for decades. You can no longer assume that every home has a floppy drive, phonograph, or cassette player, but you'll have no trouble buying these devices--all brand new. In fact, you can buy them with USB ports, which you couldn't do when these types of media were popular.
Adama asked the Windows forum about copying and moving files via a dialog box rather than drag and drop. Ideally, when you right-click a file or folder and select one of these options, a dialog box would allow you to select the destination.
You couldn't find a more intuitive way to copy or move files than the old standard: dragging them from one folder to another. But that's only handy if the destination folder is already visible onscreen.
Fortunately, Windows offers alternatives that are more convenient when the destination isn't visible: Dialog boxes that ask you where you want the file.