PC Doctor May 25, 2010

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Dear PC Doctor:

            I am looking at purchasing some items for my computer like a scanner and a webcam.  One sales clerk mentioned ‘hot swappable’.  I have no idea what this is and why I would want it?  Before I make these purchases, can you explain it to me?


Dear Gail:

            If you had a computer years ago, you might remember that you were NEVER supposed to remove an item like a printer, scanner, etc. from a computer without turning it off first and then rebooting it so it would be recognized. Things have improved now and most items can be inserted or attached to your computer and the software and computer will immediately recognize your device.  This makes life so much simpler!  So you definitely want your new purchases to have this capability.  I really think most new devices are hot swappable so you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor:

            I have the chance to buy Office 2007 but that is 3 years old.  Do you know if there are any plans to offer a new version anytime soon?


Dear Tim:

            Well the new version is Office 2010 and release dates have varied.  The newest I have seen is that it was available for professionals (whoever that might be) on May 12 and the general public in June sometime.  But if you get Office 2007 and purchased it after March 5, you shouldn’t have to worry because Microsoft has confirmed that it will give a free upgrade to users who have activated before September 30.  Of course with Microsoft, I would keep checking their website to make sure!

            PC Doctor

In the news this week - If you have an HP computer and you bought it between August 2007 through July 2008, there has been a recall on lithium-ion batteries, whether purchased with the computer or as a separate battery.  The problems cited include overheating, ruptures and fire.  Serious stuff so please check out the Hewlett Packard website to see if your battery is one that is recalled at www.bpr.hpordercenter.com/hbpr/or just www.hp.comand search for ‘battery replacement’.

Until next time…. Happy computing!