Features - Printers, Digital Cameras, Scanners, Networks, etc.
Basically there are two types of printers, laser or inkjet. Laser printers
are more precise then inkjet printers and print a lot faster then inkjet
printers. The down side is that they are black and white only. (Color
laser printers are still very expensive).
Color inkjet printers give you more flexibility in terms of your printing
work since you can add color to your end result. My personal recommendation
is to buy a HP color inkjet printer. They give the best results in terms
of quality, durability and least use of ink cartridges. Buy a HP color
inkjet with photo printing technology.
Recommendation: HP Inkjet. Epson and Lexmark printers are also
With a flatbed scanner, you can scan color photo's and black and white
text. Printed text can potentially be converted to documents (with OCR
software) without having to reenter the text and color images can be
used to add to documents, send over the Internet, etc. You can buy a
scanner for $40 or more.
Most important is the resolution of the scanner and the ease of use
of the software that comes with it. I have had good luck with Microtek
Scanners can be connected via the printer port or USB (Universal Serial
Bus). If USB is present on the computer's motherboard, it is recommended
to use this over reusing the printer port. However, we do not recommend
you add a USB port to an old computer just to run a scanner.
Recommendation. HP, Epson, Visioneer, or Microtek.
If you have more then one computer (or desktop and laptop) you can
install a network. This connects multiple computers together. You can
share an Internet connection, printers and hard-disks/CD-ROMs through
the network and play certain games through the network.
A network is not expensive and Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP has standard
network software built-in. You can install a complete network between
two computers for less then 100 dollars.
If you can't or don't want to use a wired network, you can use a wireless,
telephone line, or power line network. These networks are more expensive
than a wired network.
Note: Router boxes are very useful for allowing several computers to
share one Internet connection at the same time.
With a digital camera, you definitely get what you pay for. I would
recommend that you get at the very least a 3X optical zoom camera with
a resolution of 2 megapixels. The optical zoom is important to bring
objects closer to your camera. The resolution is important for keeping
the pixel size small in your printed pictures. Good quality Digital
cameras can be found starting around $200.
<I have had great performance with my Olympus D-450 Zoom 1 megapixel
camera (cost about $400-450 retail when I purchased it 3 years ago).
I used it to take the pictures in our
Adding a Second Hard Drive article. Recently I upgraded to a Minolta
DiMage 7i, 5 megapixels, which I am also extremely happy with.- Ed>
To be able to play games, you can either use your keyboard as a control
device or connect a game controller to your PC. Game controllers come
in many different varieties and vary enormously in price. Purchase a
game controller that is compatible with most games and that is easy
Recommendation. Wingman Extreme Digital 3D joystick (40 dollars),
one of the Microsoft joysticks or gamepads, or Gravis Gamepad Pro.
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