Thursday, March 31, 2011

Answer Man - Computer Locks Up

Answer Man
Every once and awhile my computer locks up. I can't get it to do anything. I can't even shut it down through the normal process. I know it isn't good to just turn the power off, but that's the only thing that works. What can I do about this situation?
Computer lock-ups happen for a wide variety of reasons (software, hardware, drivers, etc.), but most often are caused by software glitches. The next time your computer locks up, try a soft boot. Press the Ctrl key, the Alt key and the Del key on the keyboard all at the same time. This action will bring up a window known as the Task Manager. Click on the Applications tab on the window. All the running software will be listed. Click on any program that you believe might be causing the program (Photoshop, for example). Then click End Task. If that doesn't make the computer behave normally, try ending another task. In this manner, you can identify what program causes the computer to misbehave. Then, the next time the computer is started you can uninstall or reinstall the offending program. If this process doesn't solve the lock up problem, your computer has a more serious issue.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Answer Man - Make your computer system wireless

Answer Man
I get high speed Internet services through Century Link, but my system is not wireless. I currently have a desktop computer and a laptop. I would like to be able to use the laptop anywhere in the house without having to run long wires. How can I do it?
I'll assume that your laptop has built in wireless capability. If it doesn't, see the post on this blog about purchasing a wireless adapter for the laptop.
You need to purchase a device called a router. The latest models are N routers. You can purchase a simple router for approximately $45. Locate a wire that runs from the Century Link modem to the desktop computer (It's called an ethernet connection and looks like a fat phone wire. The wire is usually coated in bright colored insulation). Unplug the computer end of that wire and plug it into the similar opening in the router. Follow the directions that came with the router to install the software on the desktop computer. Plug in the router. In a few moments you should be operating wirelessly.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Answer Man - Recovery Disk Creation

Answer Man
Computer manufacturers no longer supply disks to restore their computers. Without the disks, users like me are in serious troubles when there is a computer crash. I understand that manufacturers expect users to create their own disks from a partition on the hard drive. I never created such disks. Is it too late to make some?
Look in your computer manual or in the computer help files for information similar to “Recovery Disk Creation.” Most manufacturers will permit you to make one set of disks. Follow your particular manufacturer's suggestions for disk creation.
If you encounter serious computer problems you may be able to restore the computer to its original factory condition by inserting the disks and re-booting the computer.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Answer Man - Wireless Adapters

Answer Man
I have an older laptop computer that is not set up to work wirelessly. Is there an inexpensive way for me to add wireless so that I can pick up the Internet at Wi-FI hotspots such as Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, the local library and McDonalds?
There certainly is. You can purchase a wireless USB adapter for as little as $10. The device plugs into the USB port of your computer. You will have to install some software that comes with the adapter, but the results can be very gratifying. Simply follow the instructions that come with the adapter and you will be surfing in no time.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Answer Man - Anti-Virus program updates

Answer Man
An anti-virus program (Norton) came with my computer when I bought the machine three years ago, but I still got a virus. Why? I thought I paid for anti-virus protection.
All anti-virus programs must be updated frequently to be effective. Each time a new virus is created, anti-virus companies must create anti-virus signatures to combat the respective viruses. Programs like Norton, McAfee, Kapersky and Trend Micro are programs you buy. You also have to pay for updates. Many users buy the programs but never purchase the updates containing the new anti-virus signatures. Thus, their anti-virus programs are almost worthless.
There are many free anti-virus programs on the market that do a very good job . They include AVG Free edition and Avast. But they too must be frequently updated to work well.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Interim Treasurer's Report

As of Mar, 26. 2011 our bank balance is $2051.14. And there is a small petty cash amount.
Jim Dillman, Acting Treasurer.

Answer Man - Print multiple photos on one page

Answer Man
How can I print several photos on one page?
Open the folder that contains the pictures. Keep the Ctrl key on the keyboard held down with one hand while you left click on each photo that you would like to include on the page. Click on the printer symbol. Various printing arrangements will appear on one side of the screen such as 2- 4 X 6, 4-3 x 5, etc. Click on the arrangement you wish. A preview of the final print will appear. If it is satisfactory, click the word Print.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Answer Man - Internet speed measurement

Answer Man
I'm paying a ton of money for my Internet service, but the connection seems awfully slow to me. Is there a way to check the speed of the connection?
You have only two choices for Internet service within Oak Run. You get what you pay for. Inexpensive Internet service from Century Link is slow. The lowest cost service costs approximately $15 per month when you bundle services, but only provides a 768 kilobits per second (KBPS) download speed. You must pay more if you want faster speed. Decca cable requires you to have premium cable tv service plus pay an additional $29.99 per month, but the speed is generally around 4.68 Megabits per second.
In any case, you want to get what you paid for. To check the speed, enter in the address line of your browser. Scroll down the page to Speed Test and click Check Now. Pick a City. I usually choose Atlanta, and wait while the speed is checked. The first figure (Download speed) is the figure used for comparison purposes.

Browser Wars

I have downloaded and tried the new Mozilla Firefox 4 browser that Ron Kenyon recently wrote about. I have also used IE9, Opera, Chrome and Safari browsers. My favorite is still Google's Chrome. It is faster and surprisingly accurate. However, I would download two add-ons:
the full screen address bar and the speed dial.

Please note that IE9 does not work with older XP machines.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Answer Man - CD stuck in drive

Answer Man
A CD is stuck in my computer drive. What do I do now?
Many CD drives have a release hole that you can access to release the drive. Turn off the computer. Straighten out the long leg of a paper clip. Look at the front of the CD drive for a small hole about the diameter of the paper clip. Gently push the paper clip straight into the hole to release the catch. The drive door should open without too much pressure. If that doesn't work, the drive may be jammed shut and the drive will have to be replaced. Replacement is easy and most drives are relatively inexpensive. I'll cover drive replacement in a future post.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Signing out

I'm finally in. Should I sign out when I leave the blog just like I do with email?


Answer Man - Viruses, Trojans, Etc.

Answer Man
What are the differences between viruses, trojan horses, malware and worms?
A computer virus is a small program written to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user. A virus must meet two criteria:
It must execute itself. It often places its own code in the path of execution of another program.
It must replicate itself. For example, it may replace other executable files with a copy of the virus infected file.

Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner's informed consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.

Trojan horses are impostors—files that claim to be something desirable but, in fact, are malicious. A very important distinction between Trojan horse programs and true viruses is that they do not replicate themselves. Trojan horses contain malicious code that when triggered cause loss, or even theft, of data. For a Trojan horse to spread, you must invite these programs onto your computers; for example, by opening an email attachment or downloading and running a file from the Internet.
Worms are programs that replicate themselves from system to system without the use of a host file. This is in contrast to viruses, which requires the spreading of an infected host file. Although worms generally exist inside of other files, often Word or Excel documents, there is a difference between how worms and viruses use the host file. Usually the worm will release a document that already has the "worm" macro inside the document. The entire document will travel from computer to computer, so the entire document should be considered the worm W32.Mydoom.AX@mm is an example of a worm

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Answer Man - Registry Changes

Answer Man
I often see notices that want me to scan the registry, back-up the registry and edit the registry. How should I do that?
The registry is a database that is used to store information that is necessary to configure the system for one or more users, applications and hardware devices. It is very complex and should only be edited by computer experts. Note the Microsoft warning below:
Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

Monday, March 21, 2011

FireFox 4: Three Ways It Beats IE and Chrome Browsers

Quoted from Bill Snyder at PCWorld Business Center:

"There's a new version of the Firefox browser coming out this week, and it's so good you may want to adopt it instead of either Microsoft's IE or Google's Chrome. Indeed, I've already made the switch using an almost complete version of Firefox 4; the finished product will be ready to download on Tuesday, March 22."

"Having said that, the three major browsers these days are all very good and it's a certain amount of trouble to switch; you've got to move your bookmarks and get used to a somewhat different environment. So when I say I'm moving back to Firefox, it's no slam against Chrome. (Microsoft's new IE 9 is getting good reviews, but I haven't had a chance to try it out.)"

"The main reason I like Firefox 4 so much is" the rest of the article by clicking on this link:

Answer Man -MP3 File Conversion

Answer Man
I want to take music files that are on CD and have them play on my MP3 player, but the files on the CD are not in MP3 format. How can I copy the files from my CD to the computer and change them to the MP3 format so the files will work on my MP3 player?
Go to the site Search for the program called Free Rip. Click on download. After the file has downloaded, click on the downloaded file to install the program. Insert a CD into the CD drive of the computer. Windows Media Player will probably start. Stop that program from playing and click the Free Rip icon on the desktop. Click on the boxes next to each tune you want to download., and then on the icon that is labeled Rip Selected Files to Default Format. In a few minutes all of the music will be saved to your computer in MP3 format. Copy the new files to your MP3 file.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Board Minutes - March 11, 2011

Board Meeting Decisions:

Upon finalization of dates/times, three classes will be presented to club members interested in the ORCC Blog signup and usage.

Alan Marcus, when available, will be responsible for posting to the Blog. Backup individuals to be determined.

A daily question, most commonly requested by individuals needing help, will be posted on the Blog.

Links will be added on the ORCC Blog in order to exchange information with other Oak Run Club websites.

Summer Topics: Smart Phones, E-readers, Wireless Printers.

Carol Norton, Secretary

Answer Man - Resize photos

Answer Man
Whenever I attach photos to my e-mails they take forever to send. Why? What can I do to speed up the process?
The greater the size (Number of pixels) the longer it takes to send the photo. Most e-mail programs limit the size of the photos you can send, so you have to reduce the number of pixels. You can use a free, easy to use program call PIXresizer to accomplish the task.
Download the program – Type in the address line of your browser. Type PIXresizer in the search box on the page. Find PIXresizer and click download. The file is compressed so doubleclick on the downloaded file to uncompress it. Follow directions to install and run the program.

To use the program, Click on Load picture, select a size and click Save. Note the file location where you saved the picture. The compressed picture is ready to be attached to an e-mail message.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Answer Man - Install Memory

Answer Man
How do I increase the amount of memory (RAM) in my computer?
Adding RAM to your computer is the least expensive way to improve the computer. I suggest that you type into your browser address line. Crucial is a supplier of RAM, and they can analyze your computer to see how much RAM is present, how much the computer will hold and what type of RAM should be purchased. If there is room for additional RAM, you can purchase what you need from them, at a local store or elsewhere on-line.
After you purchase the RAM, you can install it yourself. I suggest that you type into your browser. In the search box type Install and remove RAM. Watch several of the videos. You will find that the task is relatively simple.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Answer Man - Swap Files

Answer Man

My computer says the virtual memory is low. What do I do?

You'll need to add more RAM or increase the minimum size of your paging or swap file. Increasing the swap file size is easier and less expensive, so we'll start there. Here's how it is done in Vista. If you are using XP or Windows 7, the procedure differs slightly.
  1. Click Start, Control Panel and then System.
  2. On the left pane, click Advanced system settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.
  4. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.
  5. Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.
  6. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.
  7. Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.
Increases in size usually don't require a restart, but if you decrease the size, you'll need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. We recommend that you don't disable or delete the paging file.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Answer Man - Low Virtual Memory

Dear Answer Man:
A pop-up constantly appears on my computer screen that says, “Your system is low on virtual memory. To ensure that Windows runs properly, increase the size of your virtual memory paging file”. What does that mean, and what can I do about it?
Answer: When you perform an operation, such as writing a letter on your computer, the information is temporarilly stored in the main memory or RAM in your computer. When you turn off the computer, the information is lost (unless you have saved the information to your hard drive). As RAM fills up, the computer assigns an area (usually 1.5 x the size of the RAM) on the hard drive to handle additional information. For example, if the RAM in your computer is 512 Megabytes, an additional 768 Megabytes of space is assigned to the hard drive. The space on the hard drive is called a page file or swap file, because it swaps information back and forth with the RAM. The combination of the RAM amount and the swap file amount is known as virtual memory.
If you are running low in virtual memory, you may be able to add more RAM to your computer. You can also adjust the size of the swap file up to a maximum of 3 X RAM. However, the greater the size, the slower the computer runs. I'll cover adding RAM and increasing the size of a swap file in another post.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


When I go into the icon for email takes me to Windows live mail instead of Yahoo mail.
I would like to know how, or if I can change this so it goes to my Yahoo mail.
Tanks in advace for any help.

Blog Classes

This is Frazer - I must be doing something wrong- but I want to sign up for the Blog Classes

Frazer Crane

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blog Classes Are Available

We are now offering individual or group Blog Classes.

Class #1 - Posting,  Commenting and Editing

Class #2 - Creating Your Own Blog
(includes Administrator training)

These classes are open to all club members. Training will take place at an individual's home or at the Orchid Club Card Room. Each class will proceed at the student's pace. Class times range from 1 to 2 hours.

Individual class dates are determined by the student. Group class dates will be announced from time to time. Call or email now to get your name on the list.

There are two ways to register or request information. You can email by clicking "HERE" on the sidebar area named "Get Blog Help Here". Or you can telephone by double clicking the "Call Me" button on the sidebar area named "Sign Up For Blog Classes".

Friday, March 4, 2011

Are you BOTTED?

Are You BOTTED??
There is an unusual little sort of virus which, when sneaked into your PC, gives over its control to spurious collectors of so-called BOTNETS, swarms of up-to thousands of "Zombie" computers, which can be manipulated all at once into destructive tasks. Usually, they are employed in Distributed Denial of Service Attacks designed to swamp a target website with impossibly large numbers of calls causing it to shut down. There is usually some political or economic motive for this madness.
Your computer can become a Zombie. But there is a small, free anti-Robot app you can install to be constantly on guard for Robots.
I have had it installed in my PCs for several years, and it has caught TWO zombies. Following the capture it will ask if you want a free virus scan. Say,"Yes". It can't hurt.
TrendMicro, one of the several dozen anti-virus app providers, makes available RUBOTTED where you can read about it and download it as well:
Here is another information source.
Use it in good PC health!
Jim Dillman

For Your Information

Posts are presented in a stack with the most recent post at the top. Clicking Older Posts will show the next # older posts and so forth. Clicking Newer Posts will show the previous # newer posts. Clicking Home will display the top # most recent posts. When viewing a single post, clicking Older Post or Newer Post shows a single post each time, but, clicking Home displays the top # most recent posts. There are 2,754 posts in the stack as of 4-27-18.