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Degunking Your PC [Paperback]

Joli Ballew , Jeff Duntemann

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Book Description

March 15 2005 Degunking

Degunking Your PC takes Paraglyph's unique ""degunking"" approach--an easy to follow, tried and true, 12 step method to get your PC and all your gadgets running in tip-top shape. It covers techniques for everything from tweaking your monitor to suit your needs, installing/uninstalling peripherals, to networking several computers without technical jargon. Is your wireless keyboard fighting with your wireless mouse? Do you really need to keep those desktop speakers? Don't know how to get rid of old drivers or where they are hiding? Do you know how to physically clean your hard drive, scanners, print heads, and monitors? Can you see the top and the underside of your desk or is it cluttered with devices and cables and unidentifiable wires? If this sounds familiar, you have some degunking to do! Learn about the joys and headaches of Wi-Fi networking, why good printers go bad, all about USB and FireWire and free yourself from cords. If you are still in the dial-up Dark Ages, you'll learn everything you need to know about Moving to DSL or cable. When it's finally time to say goodbye to your old devices, learn the proper way to donate, recycle or dispose of them and choose the right upgrades for your needs.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Paraglyph Press; 1 edition (March 15 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933097035
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933097039
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 18 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,802,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Joli Ballew (Garland, TX) is a professional writer, technology trainer, and network consultant in the Dallas area. She is also a Microsoft Windows Expert Zone Columnist and Microsoft blogger. Some of her previous jobs include technical writing, education content consulting, PC technician, network administrator, high school algebra teacher, and MCSE instructor. She earned her MCSE, MCT, and A+ certifications in less than 14 months. She is the coauthor of Degunking Windows, and the author of Degunking Your Mac, Degunking Your PC, and Windows XP Professional: The Ultimate User's Guide, Second Edition, all published by Paraglyph Press.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars careful explanation of wireless April 10 2005
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Yet another book in the Degunking series. Here the authors focus on helping with your PC's hardware. This includes both the hardware in the PC itself and any common peripherals or network that the PC is associated with.

Unlike the earlier Degunking books that I've seen, this starts off with a nice convenience. Four pages at the very start that summarise the major steps you can do. Lists are also given for various time limits under which you have to perform the tasks. Handy.

Some advice seems quite mundane. Like tips on how to best physically clean the PC. But then the skill set of readers can vary greatly.

Outside the PC, perhaps the most useful chapter for many is on making a wireless network, or connecting your PC to it. The authors carefully spell out the security precautions that you are strongly urged to perform. They stress that wireless can be far more insecure than wired. Heed this advice.

There's even a brief mention of HomePlug. Making a network via the power supply in your house. This is still pretty raw and the book compares it to where WiFi was in 2000 - "expensive, bleeding edge". But maybe that will not deter you.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Common sense stuff that you normally just don't do... April 19 2005
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
There are some book series that I really look forward to reading based on their style and content. One is the Degunking series, and the latest installment is Degunking Your PC by Joli Ballew and Jeff Duntemann. Much common sense that is rarely practiced...

Chapter List: Why Is My PC All Gunked Up?; Degunking Your PC; Physically Cleaning Your PC And Peripherals; Degunking And Configuring Your PC Work Area; Degunking Your Main PC Components; Degunking Your Peripherals; Untangling Your USB And FireWire Connections; Setting Up A Basic Network For Sharing Dial-Up Internet Connections; Moving To DSL Or Cable Internet; Creating Gunk-Free Wired Networks; Going Wireless While Staying Gunk-Less; Degunking Your Backup Strategy; Enhancing PC And Media Performance; Index

I think it's fair to say that if you've been around computers for any length of time, you probably know you should be doing a lot of the stuff in this book. PCs grow internal killer dust bunnies if not cleaned out occasionally (our kitchen PC grows new kittens). An attempt to unplug a device ends up becoming an exercise in tracing the Gordian knot of cables, with slicing through it not being a viable option. And, um, I really thought the plug for my Pocket PC cradle was *that* one, not the one that powered off my PC. If you follow the plans put forth in this book, you'll avoid much (if not all) of these issues. Ballew and Duntemann give you easy-to-follow tips on setting up a program to not only get your system cleaned up (hardware and software), but to keep it that way. They even help you justify getting rid of that ink-jet printer that hasn't worked in two years but you just haven't bothered to reclaim that desk space because you've ceased to notice it...

In some ways, this book seems to go a bit beyond straight degunking. When they talk about network degunking, you'll also get a fair amount of information on just what networking is, how it works, and what you need to know to make it all work. Long-time techies will already know much of that info, but this may be just what the newbie needs to move away from 56K dial-up to 5mb broadband. The style of writing is conversational and non-intimidating, so I think that people from just about all levels of background and experience should get something out of it.

For me, this is a highly recommended book. Now if I can sneak upstairs and start degunking my teenager's PC, I'll have made great strides...
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why, When and How May 10 2005
By Glynn Brooks - Published on Amazon.com
In Degunking Your PC, Joli Ballew and Jeff Duntemann focus on the physical aspects of keeping your PC and your workspace in good working order.

Their twelve step degunking process covers cleaning your PC and peripheral equipment inside and out, unsnarling and labeling the cables that connect all the devices, overcoming the limitations of USB and Firewire devices, setting up and maintaining gunk-free networks (both wired and wireless), and setting up a shared Internet connection. There is also a good discussion of preventing data loss and how to properly backup data to external media.

The final portion of the book tells how to upgrade PC hardware: more RAM, adding home entertainment upgrades, and how to tweak computer performance. And since upgrading a computer often means that some hardware is cast aside, the book has an appendix that deals with responsibly recycling the items you no longer need (and making sure your personal information is not passed along).

Degunking Your PC for anyone who has a desire to better understand how PCs work, how to solve common hardware problems, how to install upgrades, and how to keep things running smoothly.

But just as important as HOW to do things, the book also tells you WHY and WHEN you should do things. If you have been reluctant to work on a computer yourself, this book should give you the confidence you have been lacking. And even if you have someone else handle things, you'll understand what has to be done and know whether the work is done right.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got gunk? Count on it. April 8 2005
By Lieutenant Kije, - Published on Amazon.com
Gunk: it's a fact of life. Our computers accumulate gunk -- physical gunk, in the form of needless, obsolete peripherals, wires, cables, and clutter; and virtual gunk, on the system itself. How many old computers are stacked in your closet? Face it: you're never, ever going to power those up again ("But I can turn it into a server!"). Or how many dinosaur laser printers do you have, with no hope of ever finding a fresh toner cartridge? ("But I paid $3000 for that printer!") And no, you can't off them on ebay (go ahead, do an auction search). And that's only the hardware gunk; what about the digital dust bunnies caught in the cobwebs of your hard drive? We all have plenty of software and hardware manuals on our computer-room bookshelves, but Jeff Duntemann and Joli Ballew's latest book in the "Degunking" series addresses a topic I've never seen covered anywhere else -- treating your entire computer system as a whole, to be cleaned up, streamlined, made more efficient. Treatments range from the obvious to the arcane, but even for obvious hints, sometimes somebody has to point those out to make us take action. And for the arcane, the book provides clear, lucid instructions. Beyond general physical uncluttering, chapters include degunking the PC's user interface; ditto for peripherals; USB/firewire; setting up networks; stepping up to broadband; setting up an effective backup strategy AND STICKING TO IT; and boosting PC performance (without buying a new PC). There's something in this book for everyone, from non-computer-literate users to power users. Works for me.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 12-step program is taught which any user - even relative beginners- can easily follow July 5 2005
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Joli Ballew and Jeff Duntemann's Degunking Your PC covers device which don't work property with PCs, from cables which get in the way or won't reach to a slow processor or non-working backup methods. A 12-step program is taught which any user - even relative beginners- can easily follow to tackle everything from setting up a wireless network to updating device drivers and using scans to clean up fragmented hard drives.

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