Computer Questions

I just got a new Dell Inspiron computer that is a 15.4" widescreen. I have two questions:

1. Nexlab, SPC, NWS and other pages look strange on the widescreen, either the pictures have been made smaller (Nexlab) or they are all to the left and only take half the screen. Pages such as Stormtrack, Google etc use the whole screen. Is there anything that can be done to fix this or is this just the nature of widescreen? I adjusted the resolution but the options avaliable don't look good. I also tried adjusting the 'resize larger images to fit in browser' option which did nothing.

2. Our other computer is hooked up to the internet via an ethernet cable. Both computers have wireless cards so I was wondering if there is a way to connect to the other computer via the wireless card and share that resource. If not, would a simple USB cable suffice?

Im a little disappointed with some of the rude software Dell had pre-installed on my machine. I must have un-installed ten programs from AOL, NetZero, Quickbooks, Yahoo Music, etc.

Thanks,
Scott Olson.
 
What resolution is the LCD on your new laptop? WXGA? WSXGA? WUXGA? The higher the resolution, the smaller things will look (generally, as there are some modifications you can make in XP). The WUXGA is 1920x1200 I believe, while SXGA is like 1680x1050, and WXGA is 1280x800. While you can change the resolution of the screen, it really is best to keep it at the screen's native resolution (that which is given above). If it's too small for you, you can try changing to 120DPI (from the default 96 DPI) by going to Control Panel >> Display >> Settings >> Advanced and changing the DPI setting to 120. Note that this can have some negatives as some programs seem to be designed for particular DPI settings, so you'll get some issues still. Honestly, if things seem too small, and the DPI setting change (or changing the size of the default font, changing icon spacing, etc) doesn't fix it, I'd suggest returning it (assuming you're not more than 21 days from receiving it) and getting one with a lower native resolution screen.

Regarding the webpage disparaties... Some pages are built to have fixed dimensions, or at least fixed width. For example, http://www.cnn.com has fixed width. On the other hand, some pages are designed for variable width, meaning that the size of the page will be proportional to the size of the web browser's window. For example, if you change the size of the web browser while on Stormtrack, the width of the pages will change. This seems to be fine for forums, but for news sites, where headlines are often one-liners, having fixed width makes the page easier to control in terms of its appearance.

As far as sharing a connection... You may be able to set up an ad-hoc wireless connection between the two computers, then use XP's Internet Connection Sharing service to share your internet connection (as the name implies LOL) between the two computers. Unfortunately, this means that the other computer must be on in order to get internet access on the new computer. Again, if you're looking for the easiest option, go get a $40 WiFi / 802.11g router which will do a better job of networking your computers.
 
Thanks Jeff, it's WXGA. I tried adjusting the DPI and that gave some good results in some areas but absolutely wierd results for others. For instance, the SPC text starts running off the header. So I might end up returning it or not. Actually the widescreen looks rather nice on software and GR3 so I'll probably wait a couple days before deciding. I've thought of running some sort of custom toolbar widget, or script taking a couple inches on the left hand corner.

-Scott.
 
I have a widescreen notebook. I don't really have a problem. Mine's running at 1280 x 800. Might want to enable clear type font too.

You can get a router or gateway and plug into your cable modem -assuming you have cable http://www.netgear.com/products/details/RP614.php. Plug the router into the modem and either both computers can access the net wirelessly (the router will assign internal IP's and also act as a firewall) or you could hook pc wired to the router and the other wirelessly. You can then also easily set up a home wireless network. At home I have a desktop direct wired to my router and about 4 other pc's connect wirelessly the router and share the internet connection. They also share a lan. Additionally I use Windows Remote Desktop to connect to my desktop upstairs and work on it from my notebook downstairs. That way I have access to both computers and can also connect to my home desktop when on the road. I can shut it down remotely. Starting it from cold boot is a bit harder...anyway I digress.
 
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