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Help File: Windows 7's 'snap' window tricks; real-world DSL speeds

By Rob Pegoraro
Sunday, June 27, 2010; G03

Q: How do I stop Windows 7 from shoving windows against the edge of the screen if I drag them too close?

A: This "snap" window-management feature might look neat in demonstrations, but in practice it can be distracting. For instance, I find it a huge annoyance when I'm trying to arrange windows for a screen capture.

Like many aspects of Windows, you can change this through the Control Panel. But browsing for the right setting will probably lead you astray -- this item appears nowhere under the "Appearance and Personalization" category. Instead, it's waiting a few clicks behind Win 7's "Ease of Access" heading.

Instead, use the helpful search tool Microsoft added in Windows Vista (who says Vista wasn't good for anything?). Type "snap" in the search box at the top-right corner of the Control Panel window, and you'll get a link to "Turn off automatic window arrangement." Click that, then click the checkbox next to "Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen."

My computer shows my DSL connection running at 54 Mbps. I thought DSL was slower.

It is -- you must be looking at an indication of your wireless network's speed. Fifty-four million bits per second, or Mbps, is the rated speed for most WiFi routers, although the speed limit on older models is 11 Mbps. In either case, your real-world speed will be a lot less.

DSL speeds are slower still. Verizon's services start at 1 Mbps and top out at roughly 7 Mbps. To get an independent check on your connection's performance, visit the free http://speedtest.net site.

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or robp@washpost.com. Visit http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward for his Faster Forward blog.

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