Saturday, December 31, 2011

Answer Man - Confusing CPUs

Answer Man

I want to buy a computer but am confused by chip names.

You are not alone.  Pentium CPUs used to be at the top of the Intel chip line.  They aren't at the top now.  The newer Intel chips are the I-3, I-5 and I-7 processors. The higher numbered chips are better. AMD newer processors are lettered.  The A series are faster than the E series.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Answer Man - Wireless Mouse and Keyboard

Answer Man

What do you think of wireless keyboards and mice?

Wireless mouses (sic) are fine.  They generally use tiny transmitters that plug into USB ports.  Wireless keyboards don't work as well.  If you try to use them from your easy chair, they often won't work well as the signal distance is limited.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Answer Man - Monitor mounting

Answer Man

My new monitor has a stand with a d- shaped ring in the bottom.  I don't understand how it goes together, and there are no directions.

The ring is on the end of a tiny bolt.  You turn the bolt with the ring as if you were using a screwdriver.  The bolt goes into a matching opening in another part of the stand.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Answer Man - Micro SD Card

Answer Man

I purchased a phone that contains a camera.  There is a place to insert a micro SD card to store photos.  I bought an SD card, but it has two parts.  Why?

The micro SD card can be inserted into the camera to store the photos, and removed when you want to find out what's on the card.   When you wish to see those photos, the small card is usually inserted into a slot in the larger card.  The larger card goes into a corresponding computer slot or into a printer slot.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Answer Man - Connecting a new monitor

Answer Man

I bought a new monitor but don't know how to connect it.

Connection is easy.  There are two cables.  One is the power cord which may be permanently connected or may plug into the monitor.  The other end of the cable plugs into an electrical socket.  The other cable usually has a blue connector on each end.  The ends are "D" shaped and can only be plugged in one way.  One end plugs into the monitor and the other end into a connector on the computer.  Each end has thumb screws which are then tightened by turning them in a clockwise direction.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Great Computer Program

Here's the location of a fantastic free planetarium program for your computer.  It's called Stellarium.  You can access the web site at  The program works with Windows, Linnux and Mac.  You will not believe the capabilities, but I won't tell you.  You'll have to experience them for yourself.

Answer Man - Change Icon Size

Answer Man

I just bought a 24" monitor.  The suggested appearance setting makes the icons so tiny I can't see them.  Can I have maximum resolution and still have big icons?

You can right click on the desktop, select View and click on Large Icons.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Answer Man - What is WUBI?

Answer Man

I have heard the term WUBI in relation to computers.  What does it mean?

WUBI stands for Windows Ubuntu Installer.  It is software that you download from in order to install the Ubuntu operating system on a Windows machine.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Board Minutes - December 16, 2011

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Members in attendance: Laurence Bauer, Jim Dillman, Ron Kenyon, Bob Leiner, Laura Stein, Dave Simmons, and Carol Norton.

Secretary’s report read by Carol Norton. The date December 14, in error, to be changed to December 21, for the December meeting.

Laura Stein, Treasurer, reported a balance of $1,971.13.

The ORCC Holiday Party will be held December 21 in the Orchid Club at 9 AM. Coffee, Bagels w/Cream Cheese, and Donuts will be served. Forty flash drives will be given out in lieu of gift cards.

The ORCC By-laws, Article V, recommended change, “Both the President and the Vice President must be full time residents of Oak Run and neither may serve more than two consecutive terms in that capacity,” presented at the November meeting, will be voted upon by the general membership meeting at the December 21st meeting. Q & A session encouraged with Jim Dillman to provide sheets for any questions.

First class, “Introduction to Websites,” to be presented by Ron Kenyon is scheduled for December 16. Ron requested the use of the club’s computer and projector for the class. Jim Dillman made motion, seconded by Bob Leiner, discussed and carried regarding request. Ron is in need of suggestions for future classes.

Ron Kenyon is communicating with DECCA in regard to obtaining a cable account for the general membership meeting. In the meantime Jim Dillman or Ron will provide modem for the monthly meeting.

Upcoming Programs: January - Uploading of photographs and free photo processing software by Jim Dillman; February – Computer Security, Maintenance, Networking by Mike Hubert from ACI; March – Backup Programs by Frazer Crane. Future presentations on the basics/advanced basics of computers being considered for the coming months.

The meeting adjourned at 9:35 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H Norton

Answer Man - Photos are gone

Answer Man

I copied several photos from my computer to a flash drive.  Now the photos are gone from the computer.  What did I do wrong?

I'll bet that you dragged them from one location to the other.  Dragging is like cutting and pasting.  The photo is moved, not copied.  What you should have done is Copied and Pasted the photos.  That way, you leave the original alone.  Try using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Answer Man - Clock losing time

Answer Man

In the past you wrote about a little button size battery in computers that controls the clock and that when the computer slows down that it a new battery is probably needed.  How long do the batteries typically last?

I have seen them last 10 or more years, but just this week mine quit after 3 1/2 years.  It's a cheap and easy fix.  A new battery cost me $3.50 and took about 10 minutes to change.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thank You All

I just wanted to say thank you to all the club members who pitched in to make the holiday party a big success.  Because of you, everything went off without a hitch.  Many people ask me if I mind being the Club President.  I tell them that I have the easiest job.  It's everybody else who does the work, and does it to perfection.

Thanks again, and have a great holiday and a bright new year.


Answer Man - Computer suddenly shuts down

Answer Man

I purchased a new computer and hadn't used it very long when it suddenly shut down.  Should I return it to the vendor?

Most computer vendors set power settings to shut off the display or the hard drive after a few minutes.  They often do it to save battery power.  If you want to change the settings, go to Start, Control Panel, Hardware and Power.  Change all the settings to Never, and you won't have the problem again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Answer Man - Why can't the Computer Club get new Officers?

Answer Man

Why can't the Computer Club get new Officers?  I'm tired of the current dynasty.

I keep asking myself the same question.  Whenever we ask for nominations we don't get any.  I suppose people feel that the club officers must know a great deal about computers, and nothing could be further from the truth.  All the officers need is good organizational skills.  If you think you might be interested in assuming office, please let me know, and we'll get you prepped for next year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Answer Man - What is Ubuntu?

Answer Man

I keep hearing about Ubuntu.  What is it?

Ubuntu is a version of Linux.  Linux and Ubuntu are what are called Open Source software.  They are created by people who donate their time because they think all software should be free.  The systems are free to the public and both are operating systems like Microsoft Windows.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Answer Man - Un-interruptible Power Supply

Answer Man

What's the best way to protect my computer from power outages?

Well, the best way is to unplug your computer.  The next best is to have a UPS (un-interruptible power supply). A UPS is essentially a lead-acid battery, a surge suppressor and some control circuitry.  If the AC power should go out, the UPS  will prevent your computer from shutting down, and you should not lose any data.  If the power is out for long periods of time, the UPS will not keep the computer running.  A good UPS can be purchased for as little as $50.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Answer Man - Configure Multiple Browsers

Answer Man

Is there any reason why I might want more than one browser?

Common browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera.  You can have all of them on your computer and can configure each to open to a different home page.  You might want one to open your e-mail, another to open Google, another to open this blog.  To set them, you generally click Tools and then Options.  In place of the home page listed, you can type any location you like.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Answer Man - Capcha

Answer Man

I attempted to create a Yahoo e-mail account, and these weird symbols appeared.  I was to type what I saw.  What are those things and why do they use them?

What you saw are called Capchas.  They are used to prevent computers from automatically entering information.   It is thought that only humans can read Capchas. I suppose Yahoo uses them to prevent someone from creating thousands of fake e-mail accounts thereby bringing down Yahoo servers.

File:KCAPTCHA with crowded symbols.gifSample Capchas

Friday, December 16, 2011

Answer Man - Two address lists

Answer Man

I use Embarq mail, and today I notice I have two address lists and they are not the same.  What gives?

Embarq does things a little differently.  Actually, you have one Contact list and one Address list.  Contacts are those that you put in your contact list.  Addresses are added when you receive e-mail.  That's why the two lists are not the same.  Most e-mail providers use one term or the other, but not both.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Answer Man - ISO Files

Answer Man

I need to be able to use an ISO file.  How do I do it?

Iso files are frequently used to distribute CD or DVD images.  They are images of the files.  The easiest way to deal with them is to burn them to a disk.  Not all CD burners handle ISO files.  Here's one that does.  Download the program: CDburner XP.  Then click on burn iSO files.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Computer Class For All Residents

The ORHA Webmaster is hosting a free computer class on Friday, 12-16, at 2:00 PM in the Orchid Club. This will be the introductory session of the 2012 Computer Class season. Called "Intro to Websites", the class will discuss tips, tricks and secrets of navigating websites using the ORHA websites and all of our club blogs as examples. Everyone is invited to attend this live internet demonstration. For more information contact Ron Kenyon at 897-0297. To see the 2012 class schedule or suggest classes click HERE.

Answer Man - Powerpoint Reader

Answer Man

A friend of mine sends Powerpoint presentations to me, but I don't have Powerpoint on my computer.  Is there any way I can view the presentations?

Yes there is.  Go to and download the Libreoffice suite of programs.  One of those programs is called Presentation.  It will let you read Powerpoint files and create your own presentation programs.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Answer Man - Better Shortcuts

Answer Man

I have several sites that I continually visit.  I have tried putting them in Favorites and making icons for them, but what I have is a disorganized mess.  Is there a better way to quickly get to just what I want?

I suggest you download the free Google Chrome Browser (just do a search to find it).  Then do a search for Chrome Speed Dial 2 and download that.  Then, when you click on the Chrome browser on the desktop, a page will appear with a group of boxes.  Each box can be customized to open a particular page.  I have boxes for such things as Fox News, CNN, ABC News, G-Mail, Oak Run Blog, Ocala4sale, etc.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Answer Man - Download Location

Answer Man

Can I change the location where downloads are saved?

Internet Explorer remembers where you last downloaded. If you browse/save to a different folder  it will remember that location for next download.  You can also go to the tools section of your browser to insert a default location.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Answer Man - Partitioning

Answer Man

I want to create another partition on my hard drive where I can keep my photos.  Can you tell me how to do it?

I have used several free partition managers.  The one I like best is called Easeus Partition Manager.  Download Easeus by going HERE and using the green Download Now button.  The download will put an icon on the desktop.  Click the icon.  The rest should be self explanatory.  The program will show you all the partitions on your hard drive and the size of each.  Easeus lets you merge partitions (a feature that many free programs do not have) should you make a mistake.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Answer Man - Urban legends

Answer Man

I just got an e-mail about a woman who won $1000 from Carnation Milk by entering a contest, using a risque poem.  It sounds impossible.  How can I check the story out?

I'm amazed by how many years crazy stories like that one have been floating about.  That story is said to be over 100 years old but got new life on the Internet.  Check suspicious tales by going to  Type in key words from the story, such as Carnation Milk.  Snopes will tell you if the story is true or false and usually will have the entire background of how the story got started.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Answer Man - State Parks

Answer Man

Can you list some good state park sites? 

In my opinion, Florida has the best state parks in the nation.  There are 160 of them, and 50 will accomodate RVs.  You can see all the info about them at  You can reserve a site at any of them by going to  Reserve America is a division of Ticket Master.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Answer Man - Cruises

Answer Man

I know you like to travel and often go on cruises.  Do you have any favorite travel sites?

I do have many favorite sites.  Here are a few. (an agency I have used the last 2 times I sailed) (another agency) (to stay near a port) (picks you up and delivers locally) You will need to have someone drive you to the pick up location. It used to be the Waffle House near Sam's Club.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Answer Man - New Computer

Answer Man

I want to buy a computer for e-mail and Internet research.  I don't plan to use it for much else.  What specifications should I look for and what should I expect to pay?

Computer prices have been dropping.  You can purchase a computer with 3 or 4 MB of memory and a 320 Gigabyte hard drive for $299 if you look around.  That should meet your requirements.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Answer Man - More Megapixels

Answer Man

I have been very happy with my 12 megapixel camera, but now they are selling 16 megapixel cameras for the same price.  Is it time for me to upgrade?

Camera manufacturers have been advertising increases in the number of megapixels in order to sell more cameras.  While it is true that more megapixels provide more detail, the question becomes how much do you need?  Most of us are not printing 24" x 36" prints.  In fact, I would guess that most people are printing 4" x 6" prints.  Most digital cameras will produce satisfactory prints of that size.  I have been using a 4 megapixel camera for several years. The results have been very good.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Answer Man - Calendars

Answer Man

I had a calendar printing program but it won't work with Windows 7.  Can you suggest a replacement?

Go to the following site to see all kinds of calendars that you can print.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Answer Man - Enlarging Print

Answer Man

My sight is poor.  How can I enlarge print on the screen?

Here are a couple of ways.  Hold down the CTRL key and press the key with a plus on it (to the right of the zero key).  Use the minus sign to make the print smaller.  You can also use the CTRL key and the scroll wheel on the mouse to accomplish the same thing.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Answer Man - Spyware

Answer Man

What is spyware?

Spyware is software that can display advertisements (such as pop-up ads), collect information about you, or change settings on your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent. You can combat spyware by running up-to-date anti spyware programs.

Free anti-spyware programs include Spybot Search and Destroy, Zone Alarm, Trend Micro’s Hijack This and Ad Aware. You can download these programs from

Friday, December 2, 2011

Answer Man - What is bloatware?

Answer Man

I've heard you use the term bloatware. What is bloatware?

Most bloatware is comprised of trial versions of McAfee anti-virus, Norton anti-virus, AOL, Net Flix movie applications, WildTangent Game Console, Real Audio, iTunes, AutoBackup, Lojack for Laptops, QuickBooks, Skype, Napster, Vongo,  and multiple Microsoft Office come-ons. So many users have complained about bloatware that Best Buy and Circuit City will remove it for a fee. Sony was charging $50 do remove bloatware until the public outcry forced them to rescind the fee. You might tell your computer vendor that you won’t buy a computer from them unless they remove the bloatware first. Dell is now letting some users refuse bloatware. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Answer Man - Disk burning program

Answer Man

Can you recommend a good free disk burning program?

Try this one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Answer Man - Magic Jack answering machine

Answer Man

I have the new Magic Jack Plus.  It has its own voice mail, but I prefer to use my phones regular answering machine.  How can I get the answering machine to take the message and eliminate Magic Jack's voice mail?

Magic Jack Plus is set to answer after 4 rings.  If you set your answer machine to ring in 2 or 3 rings, it will pick up first, and your messages will be on your answering machine and not on Magic Jack's voice mail.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Answer Man - Adobe Light Room replacement

Answer Man

I work with photos in RAW format.  Adobe Light Room is too expensive for me.  Are there any free programs that deal with RAW images?

Try Rawtherapee.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Answer Man - Movie Making

Answer Man

I'm looking for a free movie making program.

Try Live Movie Maker or Light Works.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Answer Man - 3 D Modeling

Answer Man

Can you suggest a free 3 D modeling program to replace the very expensive Maya program?

Try Blender.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Answer Man - Music notation program

Answer Man

I'm looking for a free music notation program.

Try Musescore.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Answer Man - Photoshop Replacement

Answer Man

Photoshop is very expensive.  Can you suggest a free replacement?

Try Artweaver or Gimp (steep learning curve).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Answer Man - Microsoft Publisher Substitute

Answer Man

Can you suggest a substitute for Microsoft Publisher?

Try Scribus.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Answer Man - I-Tunes replacement

Answer Man

I have the I-Tunes media organizer on my computer.  While it works fine with Apple tunes, it doesn't work well with non-Apple products.  Can you suggest a replacement?

Try Songbird.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Answer Man - Quickbooks Replacement

Answer Man

I'm looking for a free replacement for Quickbooks.  Is one available?

Try either GNU Cash or Ace Money Lite.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Answer Man - Outlook Replacement

Answer Man

I'm looking for a free replacement for Outlook.  Can you suggest one?

Try Thunderbird or Spicebird.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Answer Man - Anti-Virus Programs

Answer Man

Can you suggest some good free anti-virus programs?

You might try any of the following:  AVG, Avast, Avira, Microsoft Security Essentials, Panda Cloud.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Answer Man - What is a Suite?

Answer Man

Microsoft Office advertises something called Microsoft Office Suite.  What does suite mean?

An office suite, in computer terms,  is not a fancy office room.  The term means a compilation of programs.  I generally recommend the Libre Office Suite of programs (which is a free alternative to Microsoft's offering).  The Libre Office programs include a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a presentation program, a drawing program and a math program.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Answer Man - Integrated Graphics Card

Answer Man

I want to buy a new computer and I saw in the specs, for one computer, the term "integrated graphics card".  What does that mean?

A graphics card creates the monitor display.  Inexpensive computers integrate the graphics card into the mother board.  More expensive computers use separate graphics cards that can be replaced.  Gaming computers us very elaborate and expensive graphics cards.  If an integrated graphics card malfunctions you have to buy an entire mother board or new computer.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Answer Man - What Photo Printer Should I Buy?

Answer Man

I want to print some photos.  Can you suggest a good photo printer?

I suggest that you forget printing photos at home.  Print paper and printing inks are very expensive.  If you must have prints, go to a kiosk at Wal-Mart, Walgreens or other stores that have the photo machines.  They produce superior pictures at lower cost.  Most often you are going to e-mail photos or post them to a photo sharing site such as Flickr.  You probably don't need prints at all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Answer Man - Buying Floppies

Answer Man

My computer has a floppy disk drive.  Why can't I find floppies for sale at any neighborhood stores?

Recent floppies held 1.4 Megabytes of information.  Most CD's hold 700 Megabytes of information.  Most DVD's hold 4.7 Gigabytes of information, and many portable drives hold 200 Gigabytes of information.  Since the floppies held so little, they very quickly have become obsolete.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Executive Board Minutes - November 11, 2011

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Members in attendance: John Baccoli, Laurence Bauer, Elliott Bogart, Jim Dillman, Ron Kenyon, Bob Leiner, John Levandowski, Laura Stein, Dave Simmons, and Carol Norton.

Secretary’s report read by Carol Norton. No corrections or additions needed.

Laura Stein, Treasurer, reported a balance of $2,118.77.

Paul Higgenbottom will be the featured speaker at the November 16th meeting. Topic for discussion includes anti-virus, anti-malware, security, and fake e-mails.

Election of officers will be held at the November 16th meeting. After the election, a third signature will be placed on file at the bank for signing of checks.

The December 14th Holiday Party will consist of Coffee, Bagels w/Cream Cheese, and Donuts, with 40 flash drives to be given out in lieu of gift cards. Q & A session encouraged.

Jim Dillman and/or another club member will accept responsibility for providing meeting modem while awaiting DECCA’s response regarding ORHA’s request.

Use of a different vendor for gift cards was discussed. Motion made by John Baccoli, seconded by Laurence Bauer, to continue offering Office Depot or Staples gift cards as in the past.

ORCC By-laws, Article V: Motion made by Elliott Bogart, seconded by Jim Dillman, to eliminate the last sentence, first paragraph, “Both the President and the Vice President must be full time residents of Oak Run and neither may serve more than two consecutive terms in that capacity.” Will be brought up to the general membership at the November meeting with vote occurring in December.

Upcoming Programs: January - Uploading of photographs and free photo processing software by Jim Dillman; February – Computer Security, Maintenance, Networking by Mike Hubert from ACI; March – Backup Programs by Frazer Crane. Future presentations on the basics/advanced basics of computers being considered for the coming months.

The meeting adjourned at 10:10 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H Norton

Answer Man - Setting Up an E-Mail Account

Answer Man

Whenever I want to set up an e-mail account the provider wants to know about my Pop 3 account and all kinds of technical stuff that I know nothing about.  Where do I find the answers?

POP3 is one half of the email puzzle, and SMTP is the other. POP3 is the protocol, or "language", that's used to download your email from your ISP to your mail program. SMTP is the protocol used to send mail. POP means Post Office Protocol.

Check with your e-mail provider to see which of these terms need to be entered into their application format.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Answer Man - What is a Trackball?

Answer Man

I have heard the trackball.  What does it mean?

A trackball is a device used to move a cursor.  It's like an old mouse that used a rubber ball, but in this case it is upside down.  The user rolls his hand over the top of the ball and in that manner is able to move the cursor.  Many people find trackballs easier to use than a mouse.  Unfortunately, trackballs seem to have fallen out of favor, and I rarely see them anymore.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Answer Man - USB Hub

Answer Man

I don't have enough USB ports on my computer to accommodate all the devices I need to plug in.  What can I do about it?

USB hubs are available that will let you expand the number of open ports.  The hubs can be purchased for as little as $6.00.  A USB cable extends from the hub and is plugged into an open USB port on the computer.  The hub generally has 4 or more open ports for you to plug in all the devices that require a USB connection.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Answer Man - Keyboard Shortcuts Again

Answer Man

You mentioned the use of keyboard shortcuts once before.  Are there a few shortcuts you prefer?

I most often use Copy (CTRL & C), Paste (CTRL & V), Cut (CTRL & X) and Select All (CTRL A).  If you remember just these you will save lots of time and won't have the extra steps of going to the Edit Menu and looking for the commands.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Answer Man - Letters wearing off on keyboard

Answer Man

The letters are wearing off on my keyboard, but the keyboard works fine.  Is there a good way to restore the letters so I don't have to buy a new keyboard?

Click on this link:
You'll find how you can print your own letters easily and produce a pretty professional looking job.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Answer Man - Change Start Page

Answer Man

When I click my browser (Internet Explorer) I would like my Yahoo e-mail page to open right away.  How can I make that happen?

In Internet Explorer, click Tools, Internet Options and where it shows Home Page, delete what is in the box and type in the address of your e-mail page.  If you don't know the address of your home page, you can open the page as you would normally and then copy the address shown near the top of the page.  Click Okay, and the next time you click the Internet Explorer icon, your e-mail page will open.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

After reformatting a hard drive on one computer, how do I transfer the OS & all files from another computer thus making the the reformatted drive bootable?

Answer Man - Electricity Usage

Answer Man

How much power does my computer use?

The answer to that question is a complex one.  I suggest you take a look at the following site for the answer:  The short answer is that you have to check with your manufacturer and that your computer probably uses between 65 and 250 watts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Answer Man - Going Wireless

Answer Man

I just bought a wireless printer, but I don't know how to make my home wireless so I can use the printer.

Well, you don't have to use the printer in a wireless mode.  You can connect it directly to your computer using a USB cable.  If you do want to go wireless, you will need a device called a router.  They sell for about $40 and connect via ethernet cable to a modem.  They broadcast a wireless signal that your printer can pick up.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Answer Man - What is an Android Phone?

Answer Man

I don't know anything about smart phones.  I keep hearing the term Android.  What is it?

You probably know that you can use many operating systems on computers.  You can use Windows 7, Windows Vista, Linux, Apple OS, etc.  Well, there are two major operating systems in the U.S. for smart phones.  Android is produced by Google and IOS is produced by Apple.  There are various versions of Android that are numbered and have names such as Ice Cream.  Android appears on many phones from dozens of manufacturers.  IOS is only on Apple.  When you choose a smart phone, you'd better do your homework because cell phone contracts are generally for two years.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Answer Man - Magic Jack Plus

Answer Man

I know the new Magic Jack Plus is out.  I understand it connects without a computer.  How does it connect?

It can be connected with or without the computer.  With a computer it plugs into a USB port and the phone line is plugged into the device.  Without a computer it plugs into a power pack that plugs into a wall socket.  Then an ethernet cable connects the Magic Jack Plus to an open port on your router.  The phone line also plugs into the device.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Answer Man - Wireless keyboards and Mice

Answer Man

I need a new keyboard and mouse.  Are these devices any good?

Well, if you are asking if they work, they work fine.  Do they provide a big advantage over similar wired devices?  I don't think so.  Wireless keyboards generally have a transmitter (with a wire) that plugs into a USB port. The keyboard itself has no wire.  The transmitter doesn't transmit far.  So, if you want to sit in your easy chair and use the keyboard, chances are you won't be able to.  The mouse normally works off the same transmitter.  You can, however, purchase a mouse that uses a device that looks like a flash drive to transmit the signals to the mouse.  That is much more convenient than the wireless keyboard.

I have wired and wireless devices and find it makes little difference which I use.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Answer Man - Creating Greeting Cards

Answer Man

Some of my friends design their own greeting cards.  Is there a cost saving by doing so?

You can save a bundle while creating really cute personal cards.  You also save the time to drive to a card store and the time browsing through the racks.  If you would like to design your own, I suggest you do the following:
Purchase The Print Shop software.  It generally sells in the $20 to $30 range.  Buy card stock at Sam's Club.  It includes the envelopes.  You will find that a finished card will cost between 12 cents and 50 cents a card depending upon the cost of ink and the prices you pay for the software and card stock.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Answer Man - Removing Norton Security Software

Answer Man

How do I get Norton Anti-virus completely off my computer

Removing Norton can prove difficult.  I would first try Norton's removal tool available from their website.  If that doesn't do the job, download Revo Uninstaller.  Revo is free and is known as the King of the uninstall programs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Answer Man - Quick Launch Bar

Answer Man

I have dozens of icons on my desk top, and I use all of them some of the time.  However I normally use only 4 or 5.  Is there a way I can isolate the 4 or 5 without deleting the other icons?

You could drag the 4 or 5 icons to one side of the desktop or you can drag them to the quick launch bar at the bottom of the screen (left side).  The quick Launch Bar is really just a folder that you customize.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Answer Man - Create picture folders

Answer Man

I would like to create folders within the Pictures segment of my computer so that I can separate my family, my wife's family, my children't families, travel pictures, etc.  How do I go about the task?

Click on Start, Pictures.  Right click on the word Pictures and select New and Folder.  When the new folder appears, type the name you want to give it in the blank provided.  Then you can either drag the pictures into the new folder or copy and paste them there.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Answer Man - Mouse pointer

Answer Man

I would like to change the size of the cursor arrow on my computer.  How do I do it?

Right click on the desktop and select Personalize.  The click on Mouse Pointers.  You can make the pointer a hand, a plus sign, a dark big arrow or a variety of other objects.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Answer Man - Larger Icons

Answer Man

I changed the resolution of my monitor.  Now I have icons that are so tiny that they are difficult to read.  Can I change their size without changing the resolution?

Right click on the desktop and click View.  Then click on Classic, Medium or Large Icons.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Answer Man - Create a shortcut

Answer Man

I downloaded a program from the Internet, but I have trouble finding the program when I don't use it frequently.  Is there a way to put a shortcut icon on the desktop that will open the program?

Right click in a blank space on the desktop.  Select New and Shortcut.  Type in the file location or web address of the program you want the shortcut to open and click Next.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Answer Man - Music and computer use

Answer Man

Can I use my CD to play music while I work on the computer?

You certainly can.  Put your favorite CD in the DVD/CD player, select the music and Play.  Then continue with whatever computer program you'd like to use.  You can search the Internet while you are listening and make the whole process more fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Answer Man - Uses for really old laptops

Answer Man

The battery on my old laptop is dead, and the computer has a really old processor and very little memory.  Is the computer good for anything?

My wife and I like to play solitaire.  That's about all our really old machine is good for, so we take the computer with us when we go RV-ing, and we enjoy using it for our daily solitaire games.  Other than that I'd say that the only other use for the machine is to fill a re-cycling bin.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Answer Man - Uses for old hard drives

Answer Man

I have an old computer that isn't working correctly, but the hard drive is still good.  Can I use it for anything?

Yes.  You can purchase an inexpensive enclosure for the drive.  The enclosure usually is plugged into the USB port of another computer, and a power supply connects the enclosure to AC.  The drive can now be used as a convenient back-up location for your most important files.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Answer Man - Multiple Browsers

Answer Man

Is it possible to have more than one browser?

It's not only possible, it's desirable.  You can have each browser set to open to a different home page.  For example, you might have Mozilla Firefox open with the Computer Club Blog. You might have Google's Chrome Browser open with Google.  You might set Microsoft's Internet Explorer to open with Yahoo Mail, and have Opera open the Hewlett Packard web site.  To set the home page in browsers you generally click on Tools and Internet Options.  Then type in the address of the site you want that browser to open and click Apply.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Answer Man - Disk Wipe

Answer Man

I have an external drive that malfunctioned and is under warranty.  I want to send it in for replacement, but it has a lot of sensitive data on it.  Is there an easy way to make the data unrecoverable?

There are many free programs that will do the job.  I like Disk Wipe.  You can download the program from  It's easy to use, but may take a long time to work on your external drive.  You can select to have it over write the drive using  from one to 35 passes.  Note that you can't overwrite the C: drive, unless you remove it and put it in another computer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Answer Man - Deleting icons

Answer Man

There are a lot of icons on my desktop that I don't use anymore.  How can I remove them?

Simply right click on the icon and select delete.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Speed up Computer

Can anyone give me advice on how to go about speeding up my computer.

What would be the cost.

Please advise

Frazer Crane

Answer Man - Uploading to a GPS

Answer Man

A friend of mine somehow plans trips on his computer and than transfers all the information to his GPS.  I don't understand the process even though I've asked him to explain what is happening.

Let's look at an example.  Garmin, the largest manufacturer of GPS systems, uses a desktop system called Map Source.  The user plans an entire trip by establishing what are called Waypoints. Those are planned stops, such as the Grand Canyon.  From the Waypoints, the user creates a route.  The route and the Waypoints can be transferred to the GPS through a USB cable.  The user, selects My Locations on the GPS and then selects the particular location he wants the GPS to use.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Answer Man - Making my pictures last

Answer Man

I recently read that CDs and DVDs don't last forever as originally thought.  How can I safeguard my digital photos?

If you have old photos on paper, they have faded.  If you have video-tape, they experience print-through.  Nothing lasts forever.  The only advice I can give you is to have back-ups of the back-ups and keep some of them in cool secure places.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Answer Man - More than one E-Mail address

Answer Man

Is it possible to have more than one e-mail address?

It certainly is.  You can have many.  Most e-mail is free.  Providers include: Hot mail, Yahoo Mail, G-Mail, Thunderbird and  AOL Mail and dozens of others.  Many people use one address for friends and another address because they feel they may be bombarded with spam. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nominations Wanted

Nominations Needed

Most of the Oak Run Computer Club Officers have served several years, and were glad to do so, but it's time that the Club be revitalized by having new officers and new or additional people to serve on the set-up and membership committees.

I haven't minded serving as your President, but if no one else comes forward, and I again serve in 2012, I will complete 3 two-year terms as the Club's President. That's not good for the Club. We need new people with fresh ideas. The Federal Government knew what they were doing when they enacted no third term legislation.

When I asked for nominations at the October 19th meeting, we didn't have a single new nomination for any office. That's sad. Please nominate some capable people at the November meeting so we can keep our club vital and dynamic.

Answer Man - What is partitioning?

Answer Man

What does partitioning mean?

Hard drives are partitioned into areas for the purpose of keeping items separate.  Most computers shipped today have 2 partitions.  One is for the operating system such as Windows 7, and the other partition contains recovery information you can use if there is a problem with the operating system.  Some people like to create more partitions so they can keep photographs or music apart from data.  Many partitioning programs are available.  Many are free.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Answer Man - What is Firwire?

Answer Man

What is a firewire cable?

FireWire is Apple's name for the IEEE 1394 High Speed Serial Bus.  It uses a cable like a USB cable with a slightly different connector.  It is typically used to connect data storage devices.  The data transfer speed through a Firewire cable is faster than USB 2.0, but slower than USB 3.0.  Not all computers have Firewire connections.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Executive Board Minutes - October 14, 2011

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Members in attendance: John Baccoli, Lawrence Bauer, Frazer Crane, Jim Dillman, Ron Kenyon, Laura Stein, Dave Simmons, and Carol Norton

Laura Stein, Treasurer, reported a balance of $2,669.71, with 128 current members.

Alan Marcus will present a PowerPoint presentation on the basics of computers at the October 19th meeting. All Oak Run residents and their guests are invited to attend. Question and Answer session encouraged.

Nominations for 2012 officers will take place at the October meeting with elections to be held in November.

The Oak Run Computer Club's Bylaws state that three officers of the club are approved to sign checks for the Club. As only two signatures are on file at the bank, a third needs to be added.

John Baccoli to accept responsibility for the purchase and pickup of assorted donuts/bagels/cream cheese for the December meeting – approximate cost $100

Jim Dillman to continue responsibility for Membership; John Baccoli, Publicity; Bob Leiner, Setup; for 2012.

Upcoming Programs: November 14 program will feature Paul Higgenbottom. Topic to be discussed includes anti-virus, anti-malware, security, and fake e-mails; December – Christmas Coffee/Bagels/Donuts; January – Uploading of photographs by Jim Dillman; February – Speaker from ACI; March – Backup Links by Frazer Crane.

The meeting adjourned at 9:35 AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Carol H Norton

Answer Man - Free computer help

Answer Man

Where can I get free computer help?

It always amazes me that people wouldn't expect to get the services of a plumber, electrician or a gardener free but expect an Oak Run resident with computer knowledge to drive to their house and fix their computer for free.  I get computer calls every day, and I don't mind giving out advice on the phone, but it is annoying to have people who expect me to take my free time, drive across the community, and spend a few hours at their home without getting reimbursed? 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Answer Man - Alternatives to Photo Shop

Answer Man

I understand that Photo Shop is the gold standard of photo editing programs, but it's very expensive.  Are there any free alternatives?

Take a look at Gimp.  It's free, and very powerful.  However, it does have a steep learning curve.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Ubuntu 11.10

Many readers of this blog may not be aware that Ubuntu is a free but powerful operating system.  It can be download from  Since the download is an ISO file, it must be burned to a CD.  Once the CD has been created, you simply insert the CD into your DVD/CD drive and follow the on-screen directions. If that is too difficult for you, have a friend burn the CD for you.

I have used Ubuntu for several years.  Some versions were good and some were poor.  The latest version (11.10) is outstanding.  I think that it is head and shoulders above Windows 7.  The program is very fast and the learning curve is minimal.  Here is a great example of the simplicity.  In Windows you click on Start to Shut down (that makes lots of sense).  In Ubuntu, you click on a picture of a switch.

If you have a 2nd computer or an old Windows computer that has slowed to a crawl, try Ubuntu.  I think you will like it.

Answer Man - How many megapixels do I need?

Answer Man

I want to buy a digital camera, and there's a real good buy on 10 megapixel cameras.  The stores mostly have 14 megapixel cameras.  Can a 10 megapixel be any good?

Camera manufacturers have been hyping cameras by megapixels.  Unless you are going to greatly enlarge the pictures, megapixels aren't that important.  More important questions are:  Is the lens glass or plastic?  What is the size of the viewing screen?  Does the camera have digital zoom of at least 3X.  I have taken pictures all over the world with a 4 megapixel camera and achieved excellent results.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Answer Man - No sound

Answer Man

No sound is coming from my system.  What should I check?

First look to see if the speakers are plugged into the computer.  Most speakers use a green colored 1/8" plug that goes into a corresponding green colored jack.  Laptops normally have built in speakers.  If the speakers are external, see if they have an on/off switch.  Click Start, Control Panel, Sounds and check to see if your speakers have a check next to Mute.  If they do, un-check the Mute square.  If that fails, you may have to download new speaker drivers from the computer manufacturer or install a new sound card in the computer.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Answer Man - Cost of a decent computer

Answer Man

What should I have to pay for a half decent computer?

You can purchase a good laptop with 3 GB memory, a 320 GB hard drive, and a dual core processor for approximately $320.  Such a computer will suit most users just fine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Answer Man - Free Virus and Malware Protection

Answer Man

Are good programs available that will provide anti virus and malware protection?

There certainly are.  You can do searches for the following programs:  AVG Free Edition, Malwarebytes, Microsoft Security Essentials, Avast, Windows Defender, etc.  Just download the program you want and click on install.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Answer Man - Selecting multiple items in a list

Answer Man

I'd like to copy several items in a list, but not all.  Is there an easy way?

There are several ways.  One way is to click the first item in the list and hold down the Shift key as you click on the last item.  All items will be highlighted.  Then click on the ones you don't want selected and their hi-lighting will be removed.   You can than click on the Delete key.  It will delete all the hi-lighted items.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Answer Man - More USB ports

Answer Man

My old computer only has 2 USB ports.  After using those 2 for a mouse and keyboard, I don't have any for flash drives, backup drive, another printer, etc.  What can I do?

You can purchase a device that plugs into a USB port and provides several more (usually 4).  The ones I have purchased generally were not more than $8.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Answer Man - Printing Costs

Answer Man

The high cost of print cartridges is driving me up a wall.  Can you suggest a cheaper way to print?

I suggest you purchase an inexpensive black and white laser printer for $100 or so.  I just saw a Canon multi-function laser printer advertised for that price.  Only print in color when you have to using your current printer.  You will find that most of the time you don't need color.  Lasers cost much less to operate as they use toner cartridges.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Answer Man - What size drive for a back-up?

Answer Man

I would like to back-up my computer, but most back-up drives are expensive.  Is there a cheap alternative?

Well, there are several alternatives.  If you puchase a small flash drive (8 GB or so), the cost is roughly $12.  You could also back up to DVDs or CDs or a small usb driven hard drive.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Magic Jack Plus is Now Available

Many of you have been waiting for the new Magic Jack Plus.  You can now order it from Magic Jack.Com.  You will pay $81.64 for the device and one year of service (worth $29.95).  If you want to save money on the yearly service cost you can purchase 3 years of service for $19.95 per year vs. the 1 year cost of $29.95.  You will also pay $19.95 extra if you want to assign your home phone number to the Magic Jack so that you can end your Century Link home phone service.

The advantages of the Magic Jack Plus are that you do not need a computer, and you have phone number portability.  To use the device, you plug the Magic Jack Plus into the router by using an
ethernet cable.  Then plug any phone into the Magic Jack.  Then you can make unlimited calls to others in the U.S. and Canada at no additional charge.

Answer Man - Hard Drive Capacity

Answer Man

I am about to purchase a new computer.  Prices escalate with the size of the hard drive.  Do I really need a 2 terabyte drive? 

I think my computer has every program on it under the sun, and I have only used 149 Gigabytes.  Today's machines generally start about 320 Gigabytes, so even the starter machines should be enough for most mortals.  However, if you do a great deal of video work or store thousands of photos, you may want to go larger.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Answer Man - Incremental Back-up

Answer Man

I would like to buy an outboard hard drive to back-up my data.  Do you have any recommendations?

I suggest you look for a drive that comes with software that enables you to make incremental back-ups.  Such back-up programs only back up those files that have changed since the previous back-up.  If you don't have that capability you have to back-up all of your files every time, and that's a pain.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Answer Man - GPS Map downloads

Answer Man

I am planning a vacation and wonder how I can easily  put the trip in my GPS.

Most GPS systems come with mapping software.  For example, Garmin usually uses a program called Map Source.  Map source is installed on your computer and is used to plan the trip.  Each stop you plan is called a Waypoint.  You can create a route from the waypoints.  To download the waypoint or the route or both to the GPS, you connect the computer to the GPS with a USB cable.  The program will recognize that the GPS is connected and will let you transfer the data to the GPS.  When using the GPS, you select My Data, and choose the next location you want to go to, and the GPS will give you directions.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Answer Man - What is a database?

Answer Man

I keep hearing the word database, but I have no idea what one is or how to use one if I have one.

A database is a searchable record finding device. Let's assume you create one that contains all the people in Oak Run, their addresses, phones, neighborhood and what clubs they are in.  Then, you perform a query such as:  Give me all the people in neighborhood 3 that are in the computer club.  A list will be produced.

If you would like to try your hand at creating a database, download libreoffice from Open the program.  Click on Database and then on help.  You will be asked to create record fields.  You type in fields of your own choice,  such as Last Name, First Name, etc.  Then you perform a query.  You will find how to do these operations under help. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Answer Man - Photo Frame

Answer Man

I would like to have one of those photo frames to display my photos on a continuing basis.  The problem lies in the fact that most frames are too small to see well.  How can I display bigger pictures?

You could use any old computer and monitor.  The computer doesn't need much capability.  Set up the screen saver to display photos on a rotating basis. Most monitors are at least 17" diagonally, so you could have a pretty big picture.   Some new TVs will also let you display photos when the TV is connected to a computer.  You could have 60" pictures if you have a TV that big.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Answer Man - Home Inventory

Answer Man

I've been told that having pictures and a write-up of items in my home is needed if I ever have to make an insurance claim for items damaged in a catastrophe.  Do you have any suggestions on how to make such an inventory?
Go to and search for WYO home inventory.  The use of their site is free, and you can add photos and descriptions. Save the data to a CD and put the CD in a safe place, preferably off site.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Answer Man - What E-mail program should I use?

Answer Man

I want to get into e-mail and need to pick an e-mail program and set up an account.  What program should I get?

E-mail programs are generally free, and there are many available.  I suggest you choose one of the major ones such as,,  You will be able to access your e-mail, using these services, anywhere in the world.  I have retrieved my mail in Tanzania, China, Thailand and 40 other countries without difficulty.  Simply go to the site and create a new account.  That's it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Answer Man - Getting started in Genealogy

Answer Man

I'm interested in genealogy, but I am on a limited budget.  Some of the on-line genealogy programs are very expensive.  Is there a way to get in to the field without mortgaging your house?

Yes.  The Mormon Church has the largest genealogical collection in the world.  You don't have to be a Mormon to use their services, and they have a very good charting program that is completely free.  I suggest that you go to to see what services they provide.  You'll find that their free program called Personal Ancestral File is excellent for recording your genealogy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Answer Man - My screen suddenly went off

Answer Man

I was typing and suddenly the computer screen went blank.  Is my computer dead?

You probably have your power settings set to turn off the screen after a short period of time.  I suggest you change all setting to Never turn off.  To do so, click Start, Control Panel, System and Maintenance and Power Options.  Change all settings to Never.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Answer Man - Numlock

Answer Man

I like to type numbers on the keypad on the right of my keyboard.  However, my keypad suddenly stopped working.  What's up?

There is a key at the upper left of the keypad labeled Numlock.  Numlock must be on for the keypad to work.  Most keyboards have indicator lights to show whether Numlock, Capslock and Scroll lock keys are on. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Answer Man - What skill do new users need most?

Answer Man

I'm new to computing and want to get started learning how to use my computer.  What computer skill is most difficult for new users?

I find that new users have tremendous difficulty using a mouse.  Most users hold it incorrectly.  You should grasp it so your forefinger is over the end of the left mouse button.  If your hand isn't far enough forward, you won't have enough leverage to easily push the button.  Many users have trouble double clicking the mouse button.  If you have that problem, click the button once and then press the enter key on the keyboard.  And, if your mouse cursor runs off the page, simply pick up the whole mouse and reposition it to another place on the table surface.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Answer Man - What software do I need?

Answer Man

I looked at new computers at an electronic retailer.  The salesman was suggesting adding a lot of software, that I'm not certain  I need.  What do you suggest?

There is little margin in the sale of new computers and TVs, so salespeople are taught to sell lots of stuff to you that you really don't need.  When you buy a computer they want to sell all kinds of anti-virus software, insurance policies and warranties, etc.  They sell expensive TV HDMI cables when inexpensive ones may be just as good.  I suggest that you check with officers of our computer club to see what software you really need.  Many excellent  software programs are available free.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Answer Man - Solid State Hard Drive

Answer Man

What is your opinion of using flash hard drives as opposed to regular hard drives?

Small flash drives are fine for use in copying files from one location to another or for small back-ups.  But flash drives are still too expensive as replacements for hard drives.  As of this date, you can purchase a laptop computer with a 500 GB hard drive for $399.  A 500 GB flash drive would be prohibitive in cost if you can even purchase one that size.  Stick with regular hard drives until the price of flash drives drops substantially.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Answer Man - Computer overheating

Answer Man

A friend of mine says that I shouldn't keep my computer in one of those computer console niches.  he says the computer my overheat.  Is he correct?

He certainly has a good point.  If you must keep the computer in one of those cabinets, keep the door to the cabinet open when you are operating the computer.  Make certain that the back of the compartment is open to let lots of air circulate, and don't put anything in the space between the computer and side walls of the cabinet.  Better yet, take the computer out of the cabinet and put it on top of the computer desk.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Executive Board Minutes - September 16, 2011

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
September 16, 2011

Bob Leiner, Acting President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Members in attendance: John Baccoli, Lawrence Bauer, Elliott Bogart, Jim Dillman, Ron Kenyon, Dave Simmons, and Carol Norton.  

Secretary’s Report read by Carol Norton. No corrections or additions needed.

Treasurer’s Report unavailable due to absence of Treasurer.

John Baccoli suggested the need for additional back-up check signer. Elliott Bogart made motion that Vice President, be added as additional signer. Motion seconded by John Baccoli and carried.

A donation to Hospice in memory of Charlie Stein, husband of Laura Stein, was approved by the Board.

The September 21 program will feature a review and maintenance of Windows 7 by Bob Leiner with Laurence Bauer to give presentation of Windows Secrets website. Question and Answer session included during presentations. Jim Dillman will provide modem and cord for the meeting. Ron Kenyon to provide backup modem in case needed.

Elliott Bogart to work up sheets for club members to list their questions for the ORCC Blog.
Upcoming Programs: October – Basic Computer Skills by Alan Marcus, open to all Oak Run residents; November – Presentation by Paul Higgenbottom, topic to be determined; December – Christmas Coffee and Donuts; January – Uploading of photographs by Jim Dillman; February – Possible ipad demonstration.

Jim Dillman to continue responsibility for room requests for 2012.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H Norton

Answer Man - Digital input Monitors

Answer Man

I understand that newer monitors have a different type of signal input.  Is that so?

Yes.  Many new monitors have a different connector called DVI-D.  It is digital rather than analog.  Older monitors and computers use VGA connectors.  Make certain that you have the correct connection cable and that your monitor matches your computer connection wise.    

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This was done at the class

Answer Man - Downloading and Installing

Answer Man

How do I download and install a program?

Let's assume that you want to download and use the Internet calling program called Skype.  Type in the browser's address line and press Enter.  Click Get Skype.  Click Windows.  Under Skype Free click Download.  After the program downloads, click Install.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Introduction To Blogs Presentation

There will be a Special Meeting on Thursday, September 22, at 7:00 PM in the Orchid Club Auditorium to introduce everyone to the world of Blogs. 

If you missed the original presentation  about the history of Blogs and how to join and participate in a Blog, here's your chance to learn more about Blogs. 

We will have a Question and Answer session after the presentation and also take a look at the new Photo Club Blog.

Answer Man - Hotspots

Answer Man

What is a wireless hotspot?

Hotspots are wireless Internet access points.  McDonald's, Starbucks, and many other restaurants and bookstores provide the service free in the hopes of attracting business.  Customers with wi-fi enabled computers can access the Internet at these sites without incurring any Internet access fees.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Answer Man - Wired and Wireless together

Answer Man

Is it possible to have wired and wireless computers on the same network?

Yes it is possible and is commonly done.  An Ethernet cable is wired between the modem and a router's wireless port.  Then, the router broadcasts a wireless signal.  The signal may be picked up by wireless capable computers over a few hundred foot range.  A wired computer plugs into one of the other router ports and is plugged into the Network Interface Card of the computer that will serve as a wired connection. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Answer Man - Print Screen

Answer Man

I pressed the Print Screen button on the keyboard, but nothing happened.  I distinctly remember years ago that when I pressed it I got an image of the screen from my printer.

Your memory is intact.  Years ago, that's is what the Print Screen button did.  In recent years, the image is saved to an invisible place called the Clipboard.  It stays there until you issue a  Paste command.   In most programs, you click Edit and then Paste.  The item saved to the clipboard will remain there and can be pasted multiple times unless you copy another item or press Print Screen when other matter is on the screen. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Answer Man - New Folder

Answer Man

I'd like to put a folder on the desktop and name it My Stuff.  How do I do it?

Right click the mouse in a blank space on the desktop.  Click New and Folder and then type in the name you want for the folder.  Press the Enter key, and you're done.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Answerman - File Back-up

Answer Man

I'm looking for a good file back-up program.  Any suggestions?

Go to and download Karen's Replicator.  It's an easy to use program for moving files from one location to another.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Answer Man - Smart TV's

Answer Man

I would like to use my large screen TV to search the Internet.  How can I do that?

The easiest way is to purchase a new Smart TV.  It will have the capability built in.

Wikipedia says - The technology that enables Smart TVs is not only incorporated into television sets, but also devices such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and other companion devices. These devices allow viewers to search and find videos, movies, photos and other content on the web, on a local cable TV channel, on a satellite TV channel, or stored on a local hard drive.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Answer Man - Forgotten Password

Answer Man

I forgot the password to log in to my computer.  Although I'd lose a lot of information, I thought that if I did a complete system recovery I would at least have the computer working again.  However, I don't have any restore disks and I can't get into Windows.  So, how do I get into recovery?

Some computers let you access recovery by pressing F8 just before the Window's logo appears.  Then a menu will let you select not only Safe Mode but also Directory Services Restore Mode.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Answer Man - Internet Providers

Answer Man

I just moved to Oak Run and don't know what  broadband Internet providers there are and how to choose one.  Any suggestions?

Decca Cable is the fastest and generally provides about a 4.6 GB download speed.  However, the more people sign up for cable, the slower it gets.  Decca also requires you pay for premium TV channels to get a low Internet price.   Century Link's low price ads are for 1.78 Mbps speed.  The cost escalates if you want faster speeds.  Century link ads are 12 month teaser rates, and then the price increases greatly.  By the time you are done, expect to be paying $70 to $90 per month for either service if you want 3 Gbps or faster speed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Answer Man - Windows Easy Transfer

Answer Man

I just bought a new computer and want to move some of my documents and photos to my new computer.  What methods are available?

You can copy info to a CD or flash drive and then open the file and save them in the new computer or you can use Windows Easy Transfer.  To use it, you will need a transfer cable or can transfer files over the Internet.  I would start by typing "Windows Easy Transfer" in the search box of the new computer.  Click on those same words up above the search box and then follow directions on the screen.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Answer Man - Slow Internet speed

Answer Man

My Internet has slowed to a crawl.  Do I have any control over the speed?

Normally, slow Internet speed is on the Internet providers end of the line, but sometimes you can simply re-boot the computer and find that the speed will increase substantially.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Answer Man - Select multiple items

Answer Man

I downloaded a bunch of photos from my camera to my computer.  I want to keep a dozen or so but get rid of the rest.  Is there an easy way to do that?

Click the left button of the mouse on the first photo you want to keep.  Hold down the CTRL key as you click on each of the other photos you want to keep.  All the photos you want to keep will be hi-lighted.  You can drag the hi-lighted files to another folder.  Then, go back to the original folder and click CTRl.  Hold the key as you press the letter A.  It will select all photos in the folder.  Press the DEL key on the keyboard and they'll all disappear.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Answer Man - Diacritics and Special Markings

Answer Man

I often need to print special characters such as foreign letter accents, fractions, etc. such as the pound sterling symbol.  How do I do it?

You press the ALT key and the correct  codes as shown in
Here are a few examples:  ¾, Á, ë,  £.  Use the number keypad when you put in the numbers of the code.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Answer Man - CD Burner

Answer Man

I erased my CD burner by accident.  Are there any good free replacements?

Go to and download their excellent burner.  It's free and very easy to use.  All you do is drag and drop files and then click Burn.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Answer Man - Lost Password

Answer Man

I can't remember the password to get into my computer.  What do I do now?

There are several password cracking programs available, but I have not had luck with any of them.  Of course if you have the original Window's disks you can re-install Windows, but most manufacturers don't give you the disks.  Some computers have you store passwords on camera cards, and inserting the cards will un-lock the password.  I recently tried something else.  I kept trying different passwords to no avail, but then a message popped up that read "Password Expired".  Below that were the words "re-set password".  I clicked on that and then left the password blanks empty.  When I pressed Enter, the computer booted.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Answer Man - Fix file system errors

Answer Man

How can I fix file system errors?

Click Start, Computer and Right click the C Drive.  Select Properties and then by Error Checking click Check Now. You will be given a couple of options:  Auto fix file system errors and Scan for and fix bad sectors.  Put a check in the boxes in each of these options and click fix file system errors.  The process may take a long time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Answer Man - Salvage an Old computer

Answer Man

I have an old computer and have forgotten my password.  I don't have the Windows operating system disks.  I can't get into the computer.  Any suggestions?

Perhaps the easiest salvage technique is to install a free operating system such as Ubuntu.  Get someone else to download Ubuntu and save it to CD.  Start the old computer and insert the Ubuntu CD.  Shut down and re-start the old computer.  Follow the directions to install Ubuntu.  It's quite a bit different than Windows and will take a bit of getting used to, but it will have your old computer working again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Answer Man - Broadband speed low

Answer Man

My Decca Internet connection is usually quite fast. Since it seemed very slow, I checked the speed at  I was correct.  It was much slower than normal.  What might I do about it?

Often you can correct the problem by unplugging your router (if you have one) and your modem and turning off your computer.  Then turn on the modem. Turn on the router and re-start the computer.  If that doesn't solve the problem you should check with your Internet provider.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Answer Man - Purchasing on-line

Answer Man

I have never purchased anything on the Internet and I'm nervous about trying.  Can you walk me through the steps?

For your first purchase I suggest using a well known Internet supplier of goods. is one of the largest and most reliable.  Type the address into the URL or address line and press the Enter key.  Search within the Amazon page for what you want.  Let's assume you search under computers and accessories and then printers.  When you locate one you like, click on it.  If you like all the specifications and the price, click Add to Cart.  Then fill in the required bill to and ship to info, type in your credit card number and OK your purchase.  They will tell you when the purchase will ship.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Answer Man - PS2 mouse

Answer Man

I was already to purchase a new computer but noticed that one had a PS2 mouse and another one had a USB mouse.  Which should I get?

The PS2 is an older style.  Only get the one with the USB mouse connector.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Answer Man - Modem lights won't Stay On

Answer Man

I went to use the Internet, but the lights on my modem won't stay on.  What gives?

The stand-by button on top of the modem must have been pushed.  The button is normally used to provide a means of security to the user by disconnecting them from the Internet when they are not using it.  Push the button again and all should work normally.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Answer Man - Full Screen

Answer Man

Is there an easy way to make my browser window open to full screen?

Press F11 to enlarge the screen.  Press it again to make it smaller.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Answer Man - Highlight paragraph quickly

Answer Man

Is there a way to quickly hi-light a paragraph?

Hold down the Shift key and click the left mouse button at the end of the paragraph you would like to hi-light.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Answer Man - Quick Scrolling

Answer Man

How can I quickly scroll up or down a page?

There are several methods for quick scanning.  You can use the Page Up and Page Down keys on the keyboard.  You can press the Shift and space bar at the same time. You can hold down CTRL and move the scroll wheel on the mouse and you can drag the large scroll bars at the right and bottom of the screen.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Answer Man - Get stock quotes easily

Answer Man

I need an easy way to see how my stocks are doing.  What do you suggest?

Simply type the stock symbol in the Google address line and press Enter.  Typing in VDGIX will give the results for Vanguard Dividend Growth Investor.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Answer Man - Tracking airline flights in Google

Answer Man

Is there an easy way to track airline flights in Google?

Type the name of the airline and the flight number in the Google address line.  For example, Delta 456 would track that flight.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Answer Man - Local weather and movies

Answer Man

How can I quickly search for local weather or movies in Google?

Type what you are looking for in the address line followed by your zip code.  Type Weather 34476 for example to see the weather in that zip code.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Answer Man - Google Phone Look-Up

Answer Man

How do I look up an address associated with a phone number in Google?

Type in the phone number, including the area code, in the Google address line and press Enter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Answer Man - Google locator

Answer Man

I understand that there is a quick way to locate items in Google.  Can you tell me how?

Simply type in the item you are looking for in the address line.  If you want local restaurants, type in Restaurant and press Enter.  If you want Auto Repair, type that in the address line.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Answer Man - Google definitions

Answer Man

Is there an easy method to have Google define a word?

Type Define and the word you are searching for in Google's address line.  If you type Define Hypnosis, you will see definitions of hypnosis.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Keyboard Shortcuts, part 4 of 4

For those who are new to computing there are a few keyboard shortcuts that can save you time.

You'll find that you select the same options multiple times while using programs. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to access these options immediately without having to navigate confusing menus. A shortcut consists of holding down one button on the keyboard (such as "Alt" or "Ctrl") and pressing another button (sometimes two) at the same time then releasing them together. Here are some shortcuts that will work in many programs.

Other Shortcuts:

F5 = Refresh;                  Refreshes the current browser view
Alt + F4 = Close App;        Closes the application (program)
Ctrl + F4 = Close Window;       Closes the document window but not the application
Ctrl + Alt + Del = Task Manager;    Close non-responding programs or Reboot

This is the final post in a series of Keyboard Shortcuts.
Click HERE to see part 1. Click HERE to see part 2. Click HERE to see part 3.

Answer Man - Find item quickly

Answer Man

Is there a quick way to find an item on a page?

Press the CTRL key on the keyboard and the letter F at the same time.  Type what you are looking for in the search blank that appears.  Let's suppose you are looking for the word genealogy.  Type that in the blank and then click Next or Previous to go up or down on the page.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Answer Man - Computer has been hacked

Answer Man

How do I know if my computer has been hacked?

Any of the following could be symptoms.  New programs have been installed.  Passwords have changed.  Spam e-mails are being sent.  There is increased network activity.  Unknown programs want access.  Your anti-virus program quit working or has been removed.  The computer is doing things by itself.  A new toolbar has appeared.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Answer Man - Enlarging Text

Answer Man

Is there a way to make the text size bigger and have it stay that way?

Click Start, Control Panel, Appearance and Personalization.  In the left panel find Adjust font size.  Click on the size you would like to have.  The change will not occur until you restart the computer.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Answer Man - System Information

Answer Man

I'd like to know a quick way to view information about my computer system.

Here's a quick easy method.  Click Start.  Type Dxdiag in the Search box in Vista and Windows 7, Then up above, under programs, click Dxdiag.  If you are using Windows XP, click Start, Run and type in Dxdiag.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Answer Man - Page Break Shortcut

Answer Man

I'm writing a book and want to end what I'm writing and start with a new page.  Is there a better method than continually hitting the Enter key. 

Yes there is a better way.  You want to insert what is called a page break.  In Word you can do it by clicking on Insert, Break, Page Break.  In Open Office, click Insert, Manual break, Page Break.  A keyboard shortcut that should work in either program can be used by pressing CTRL and the Enter key at the same time.  As soon as you create a page break you will see a new page.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Answer Man - Switching E-Mail Programs

Answer Man

I just switched from Hot Mail to Decca Mail.  Is there a way to move all the  contacts in my address book to Decca?

There sure is.  Go into hot mail and locate the contacts Export command.  Then open Decca Mail and choose Import.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Answer Man - Browser Differences

Answer Man

Is there any advantage to using more than one browser?

One advantage is that you can set each to open to a different home page.  For example you might have one open to Yahoo mail and another to Gmail.  I find that sometimes different browsers interact differently with various programs.  When I use Firefox with blogspot I find that the Enter key doesn't make the cursor drop down a line unless I use a down cursor key after the Enter key.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Answer Man - Delete select E-Mail Messages

Answer Man

I get dozens of E-mails.  I want to save a couple and delete all the rest.  Is there an easy way to accomplish the task?

Most e-mail programs will let you click in a box that selects all the messages.  Click there.  There should be a check in the box next to each message.  Then, click on each message you want to keep.  The checks next to the messages you are keeping should be gone, and all the messages you want to delete should have checks next to them.  Click Delete, and all the checked messages should be gone and the others will remain in the in-box.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Keyboard Shortcuts, part 3 of 4

For those who are new to computing there are a few keyboard shortcuts that can save you time.

You'll find that you select the same options multiple times while using programs. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to access these options immediately without having to navigate confusing menus. A shortcut consists of holding down one button on the keyboard (such as "Alt" or "Ctrl") and pressing another button (sometimes two) at the same time then releasing them together. Here are some shortcuts that will work in nearly every program.

Other Shortcuts:

F1 = Help;                 Opens the Help Menu
Ctrl + S = Save;        Save the current document or file
Ctrl + O = Open;       Open a document within the current program
Alt + Tab = Switch;   Switch back and forth between opened programs

This is the third in a series of Keyboard Shortcuts. Watch for more coming soon.
Click HERE to see part 1. Click HERE to see part 2. Click HERE to see part 4.

Answer Man - Internet opening page

Answer Man

My browser (Internet Explorer) opens to MSN but I want it to open to  How can I effect that change?

Open Internet Explorer.  Click on Tools and then on Internet Options.  In the blank next to home page highlight MSN or whatever is there now.  Then type on the keyboard, and save the settings.  The next time you click on the IE icon, the Internet will open up to the Yahoo home page.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Answer Man - Great computer tips

Answer Man

I like your computer tips, but is there anywhere else I can get additional free computer info?

Try Windows Secrets at and Kim Komando at  You'll find more information than you can absorb in a lifetime.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Answer Man - Size of Print

Answer Man

My vision is not what it used to be.  Most computer screen print is too small.  I tried some of the Windows magnifiers and they're just too difficult to use.  Any suggestions?

Left click when print appears.  Then hold down the CTRL key on the keyboard and rotate the scroll wheel on the mouse.  In most cases, you can make the print change size.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Answer Man - Safe Mode and Malware

Answer Man

My computer has a bad virus or some kind of malware.  I tried to use the free program Malware Bytes, but the virus wouldn't let it run.  What can I do?

If Malware Bytes won't run in normal mode, you need to try running it in Safe Mode.  To do so, press F8 as the computer starts up.  Windows will start running with minimal applications running.  Click on the Malware Bytes icon and see if that solves your problem.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Answer Man - Free Cell

Answer Man

I love the Free Cell solitaire game.  I'm buying a new computer and want to transfer it to my new computer.  How do I do it?

Free Cell comes free with Windows operating system.  You will get it when you buy your new Microsoft computer.  You won't have to transfer anything.  Have fun playing Free Cell solitaire.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CMOS Battery

Answer Man

My computer clock keeps losing time. What's up?

That's a sure sign that the CMOS battery is running low or has failed. The battery retains all the BIOS settings in the computer. It does such things as tell the computer which device to boot first. For example, it might instruct the computer to boot first from the CD and then the hard drive. The battery is easy to replace in a desktop computer. It looks like an over-sized watch battery. Most laptop CMOS batteries are much more difficult to replace.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Answer Man - Fake update Message

Answer Man

Recently, there has been an increase in fake computer update messages that appear to come from Microsoft.  How do I know if they are fake or real?

It may be impossible to tell the difference since hackers are getting so good at making their messages look like they came from Microsoft.  I suggest that you ignore the pop-up message.  Then go through the regular update process by clicking on Start and Windows Update.  If the message was genuine it should disappear.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Answer Man - Buying on Line Safety Issues

Answer Man

 I'm worried about buying on line.  How concerned should I be?

I have used credit cards to purchase thousands of dollars of merchandize on line without an issue.  I have used E-bay, Amazon, Home Shopping Network, etc.  In addition I have used credit cards throughout the world including Africa, China, Europe, and most of South America without incident.  The secret is to only deal with known reputable merchants.  If you do run into a problem and you report it immediately, the credit card companies will work on your behalf to get your money back.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Keyboard Shortcuts, part 2 of 4

For those who are new to computing there are a few keyboard shortcuts that can save you time.

You'll find that you select the same options multiple times while using programs. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to access these options immediately without having to navigate confusing menus. A shortcut consists of holding down one button on the keyboard (such as "Alt" or "Ctrl") and pressing another button (sometimes two) at the same time then releasing them together. Here are some shortcuts that will work in nearly every program.

Often Used Shortcuts:

Ctrl + Z = Undo;    Undo the previous action
Ctrl + Y = Redo;    Redo the previous Undo
Ctrl + P = Print;     Print current document or webpage
Ctrl + W = Close;   Close current window

This is the second in a series of Keyboard Shortcuts. Watch for more coming soon.
Click HERE to see part 1. Click HERE to see part 3. Click HERE to see part 4.

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