Dan White's blog

How to set up your first office with little money and no technical expertise

I get a few people ask me (usually in social situations where I'm trying to think about anything other than work!), "What is the cheapest office set-up I can do?" for their new small business. runPCrun are many things, and while we believe we are the best solution considering time,cost and quality, we happily admit we're not necessarily the cheapest solution and this can be important when starting a cash-starved first business.

Internet Explorer 7 print preview is blank and being unable to print

Internet Exploder Quick Fix time...

Well this "Print preview is blank and you cannot print pages from Internet Explorer" problem was evident on a clients machine, however I couldn't actually open the Page Setup page either to resolve it.

The solution I found was this very handy IEFix - General purpose fix for Internet Explorer utility and seems to do what it says on the tin. So nice one Ramesh Srinivasan and thank you!

Laptop Battery use and storage guidelines.

laptop batteries One of my laptop's batteries had died a little while ago and couldn't figure out why, so I've been reading around the subject to try to find out what can be done about it and what I can do to prevent it in future.

First of all, I've learnt that it is possible (for the more technologically ept of us) to replace the Lithium Ion batteries inside of laptop batteries. However I wouldn't recommend this unless you are an expert at wielding a soldering iron.

To avoid this and an expensive new battery I decided to simply buy one cheaply second hand from Ebay, this was not necessarily the best approach however as laptop batteries (which I will refer to as Li-ion batteries from now on) have a definite shelf life which affects the storage capacity of the battery (and therefore how long it keeps your laptop powered). This shelf-life can be be prolonged by various means.

The best guidelines I found was at the excellent Battery University , mostly in an article on Li-ion battery life which I found extremely informative and I am now citing here. 

Guidelines for prolonging Li-ion battery life

  • Unlike Ni-Cd batteries, lithium-ion batteries should be charged early and often. However, if they are not used for a longer time, they should be brought to a charge level of around 40%. Lithium-ion batteries should never be "deep-cycled" like Ni-Cd batteries.
  • Li-ion batteries should be kept cool. Ideally they are stored in a refrigerator. Aging will take its toll much faster at high temperatures. The high temperatures found in cars cause lithium-ion batteries to degrade rapidly.
  • Lithium-ion batteries should never be depleted to empty (0%) and then stored.
  • Li-ion batteries should be bought only when needed, because the aging process begins as soon as the battery is manufactured.
  • When using a notebook computer running from fixed line power over extended periods, the battery can be removed and stored in a cool place so that it is not affected by the heat produced by the computer.
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