How to share Internet service with your neighbors, and why you shouldn't

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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Whitney and her neighbors want to get on the same network, and share the same Internet connection.

You can do this, and depending on your homes' geography, it might even be relatively easy. I'm going to tell you how to do it, but I'm also going to tell you why you probably shouldn't.

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

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How to archive files so they'll stay around for years

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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Daisky wants to store files in a way that will make them available to future generations.

People worry a lot about archiving digital files for long periods of time. The concern is legitimate. I wouldn't go as far as the people who insist that burned CDs and DVDs (the kind you buy blank and write files to on your PC's drive) last for only two to five years. But it is true that these burnable discs use unstable light-sensitive dyes, and will probably not be readable in 20 years. And if they are, will you still have optical drives for reading them? Or software that can read the files?

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

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How to partition a hard drive

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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David Beanblossom asked how to split a hard drive into multiple partitions.

When we talk about "drives" labeled C:, D:, and so forth, we're actually talking about partitions, sections of the physical drive. Every hard drive in use has at least one partition. You can shrink that partition and create new ones out of the extra space. You'll find this useful if you want to install more than one operating system, or if you want to truly separate programs and data.

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

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Clean up your public Internet profile

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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Maggs2378 found personal information "on one of those 'people search' web sites" and wants to know how to get it removed.

Removing your private information from one site isn't particularly difficult, but it can be a hassle. You have to go to the site, search for your own name, and make sure you're there. Then you have to find the site's privacy policy page and read it carefully--a task that isn't always easy if you're not a lawyer. Then you have to follow the instructions.

When you're done, it's time to go on to the next site.

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How to change users in Windows 8

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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Oraldo Morales Ceballos recently moved to Windows 8, and can't figure out how to log off as one user and log on as another.

If you share your PC with another person, you know that logging off one account and logging onto another is faster than rebooting. You also know that switching between accounts is even faster.

But in Windows 8, the option isn't where experienced Windows users would expect it to be. It's yet another case of Microsoft making things easier for novice users at the expense of everyone else. The company renamed and moved these options in a way that actually makes sense. But for experienced Windows hands, there's a slight learning curve.

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When your PC doesn't recognize a 2nd drive

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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Creeds installed an old hard drive into a new machine as a second drive. The PC froze at the Windows logon. So Creeds unplugged and replugged the drive. Now the PC boots, but it doesn't see the newly-installed old drive.

When you installed the old drive, your BIOS probably decided that that was the first drive--the one that boots. So it attempted to boot your old version of Windows and ran into trouble. Remember that when you install Windows, it configures itself to your specific hardware. Boot one PC's hard drive inside another and you're bound to have problems. (For more on this, see How to move to a new PC.)

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

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