25 Questions, 25 Answers

Why Can't My XP PC See My Vista PC on the Network?

Microsoft designed Vista's networking to be both secure and simple. So much for what they intended. Some networking headaches are specific to Vista, and others existed before Vista and continue to exist. To eliminate problems of the latter type, read my Answer Line article, "What to Do When Network PCs Don't See Eye to Eye."

If that article doesn't solve your PC's problem, the issue may hinge on how you share the computer's folders. Vista's default setting lets you share folders only with yourself.

Right-click a folder you want to share, and select Share. If Vista responds with the message "This folder is already shared," click Change sharing permissions.

In the resulting File Sharing dialog box, type everyone into the unnamed field next to the Add button, and press Enter. The word "Everyone" will appear in the list of people with whom you can share the folder. On the right side of the dialog box, select the permission level you want to assign to people sharing the data. Click Share to close the dialog box (which may take some time to process your request).

Is TV Burn-In a Real Problem?

Yes, it is--especially for plasma and CRT sets. A static image that remains on screen too long can burn into the screen's phosphors and remain there, possibly permanently. And if a portion of the screen goes unused for extended periods of time--for instance, if you watch a lot of TV programs in "normal" (that is, 4:3 aspect ratio) mode--the outline of the black bars that your set uses to frame the image could become a permanent part of your television.

If you have a plasma TV, you may want to restrict the amount of time you spend watching stations with permanent logos or ticker tapes, or watching in 4-by-3 mode--or you may want to switch from black bars to the TV's gray bar option. This is especially true during the first few months you own the set; the older a TV gets, the less likely it is to suffer from burn-in. If you like older TV shows or movies made before the mid-1950s, and you prefer to watch programs as they were meant to be seen, you should probably not buy a plasma set. For more information on handling aspect ratios and avoiding burn-in, read Becky Waring's article, "How to Get the Most Out of Your HDTV."

LCDs aren't as susceptible to retaining images as plasmas are, but it can happen. I know of one instance where a new LCD television was permanently damaged by very heavy 4-by-3 viewing (about 6 hours a day). Of course, since they lack phosphors, LCD screens can't suffer from true burn-in. Call it "image retention" instead, but for all practical purposes it's the same thing.

With any of these technologies, lowering the set's brightness and contrast improves your odds of avoiding damage.

As far as I know, DLP sets don't suffer from image retention problems.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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