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volume 9 number 7 july 2004 TipSheet

Welcome to the July issue of MicroMetric's TipSheet.

This monthly newsletter is targeted at addressing the needs of our customers.

This month we'll continue a series of tips on Windows XP.


Current notebooks running Windows XP let you expand your desktop space by connecting an external monitor. The notebook LCD and external monitor work together, letting you view the same desktop on each, or different desktops, or an expanded desktop that stretches across the two displays.

First, connect the second monitor to your laptop. Then right-click on your desktop and select the Settings tab. You should see icons for two monitors. Right-click on Monitor 2 and click on Attached. Use the slider to adjust the resolution.

Right-click again on Monitor 2, click on Properties, select Monitor, and adjust the refresh rate. It defaults to a flickery 60 Hz, the same as the LCD panel. Try a higher refresh�say 75 Hz�then click on OK. Finally, click and drag the Monitor icon to match how you have the notebook and monitor arranged.


Work files are often stored on an office LAN. Windows makes it easy to take files with you and make sure you are working on the most recent versions.

Click on Start | My Computer | Tools | Folder Options | the Offline Files tab | Enable Offline Files, and choose How and when you synchronize (for example, at log-on, at log-off, or hourly). Choose a folder you want synchronized onto your notebook by right-clicking on it; click on Make Available Offline, then follow the Offline Files wizard.


Careful use of power management tools and decreasing screen brightness can stretch battery life by 30 to 45 minutes. Go to the Control Panel and open Power Options. You'll see half a dozen tabs (the layout varies slightly among notebooks). Make sure that your notebook can go into Standby mode (in the Power Schemes tab), meaning that the system stops most activity and uses the battery to refresh system memory.

A computer in Standby loses 10 to 15 percent of its charge each day. You should set your system to go into Hibernate mode after Standby, meaning that it writes an image of the memory contents to the hard drive and then shuts down. (Windows 98 doesn't offer Hibernate.) In Hibernate, there's no loss beyond the battery's own gradual discharge.


If you use wireless Ethernet in the office and in a second location, such as your home or a remote office, one configuration may work for both. Windows XP usually auto-detects and connects to available wireless LANs.

If you need to enable the Zero Config Wi-Fi, click Control Panel | My Network Connections | View Network Connections. Right-click on the Local Area Connection (Wireless) and click Properties | TCP/IP. Under the General tab, make sure Obtain an IP address automatically is checked. Then go to the Wireless Networking tab and check Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings. Click on Advanced, and check for access to Any available network. If you need specific settings for a second location, go to the Alternate Configuration tab to enter settings for that location.


Being mobile exposes you to additional dangers, especially if you use wireless networking. Here are some pointers for improving your security.

In the Control Panel's Power Options menu, go to the Advanced tab and check on the box Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby.

Copyright 2004, MicroMetric, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Permission to copy in total, with this statement and copyright, is hereby granted.

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