Thursday, June 30, 2011

Answer Man - Icons

Answer Man

Several people I know have icons (shortcuts) on their desktops for My Documents, My Pictures, My Computer, etc. How can I create such shortcuts on my computer?

Left click on the Start button. Right Click on the item you want to appear on the desktop. I'll use Documents as an example. Left click on Send To Desktop. That's all there is to it. If you want to delete an icon from the desktop, right click on the icon and left click on delete.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Answer Man - Don't Print Your Pictures

Answer Man

I have been printing pictures on my computer printer, but printer ink costs are out of sight. Is there a less expensive way to print?

Many people that I know take their pictures to a store such as Walgreens, Target, Wal-mart or other stores that host picture kiosks. You will find that the kiosks produce quality pictures at a fraction of the cost you spend for ink and quality print paper. The machines accept camera cards, flash drives and camera phone input. The pictures can be edited and put on a CD.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Answer Man - Sell Computer

Answer Man

I have a some computer equipment I'd like to sell. Where can I advertise it inexpensively?

Of course you could post a notice on the Oak Run bulletin board, but if you want to reach a wider audience I suggest placing an ad on The ad is completely free to individuals, only businesses are charged for their ads.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Answer Man - Drivers

Answer Man

I bought a new computer and connected my old printer. The computer screen requested that I insert the software for the printer. I can't find the disk that came with the printer. Must I buy a new printer?

The software you need is called a driver. Most printer manufacturers will support printers for a long time, and you can download the appropriate driver from their web sites. You will need to know the model number and name of your printer. The computer should be able to find the downloaded driver and will install it automatically.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Answer Man - Taskbar Vanishes

Answer Man

The taskbar at the bottom of the page flickers or sometimes disappears completely. When I move the mouse near it the bar re-appears. Can I make it stay in place?

Right click the mouse on the taskbar. Left click on properties. The box next to Auto hide taskbar should not be checked. It it is checked, click on the box and the check should vanish.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Answer Man - Internet Down

Answer Man

Sometimes my modem loses its connection to the Internet. What can I do to restore the connection?

Turn off the computer. Unplug the power from the router and wait 30 seconds. Turn off the power to the modem and wait 30 seconds. Plug in the modem. Plug in the router. Re-start the computer. If this doesn't help, the problem is most likely a problem with your Internet provider or modem.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Answer Man - Should I Buy a Netbook?

Answer Man

I need a new computer and would like to know what you think of netbooks.

Most people are attracted to netbooks because they are relatively inexpensive and light weight.

Netbooks are fine if you do lots of traveling and want to occasionally check your e-mail, but the disadvantages are many. Most use the Atom processor which is much weaker than some of the other processors on the market. The keyboard is tiny and difficult for a touch typist. Some keys have been re-arranged on some netbook models. You may have to pick up the whole computer to read some screens. So, if you need a second computer when you travel, a netbook will do. If it is to be your only computer, buy something else.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Answer Man - Wired or Wireless

Answer Man

My wife and I have laptop computers. I move my computer around, but she doesn't move hers. Should they both be used wirelessly, or is there some advantage to one being wired?

Wired connections are faster than wireless. I suggest that you plug your wife's computer into one of the router ports using an ethernet cable. In that manner, your computer will be wireless and hers will be wired and therefore faster.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Answer Man - Multiple Browsers

Answer Man

Can I have more than one browser on my computer?

Yes you can. Popular browsers include: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Fire Fox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari. You might have browsers open different web sites. For example, you might have Internet Explorer open by showing your e-mail page, have Mozilla open, and have Chrome open Google's home page.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beware of Win7 Home Security 2011 or 2012

Both Win7 and WinXP Home Security 2011 and 2012 are scam security programs. Each will infect your computer with multiple viruses and trojans. They will lock out your anti-virus & anti-malware software. Plus, make your computer unless. All they want is your money leaving you with a mess. This scam program can be "buried" in an email, a website or message.

How to prevent: Be sure that your anti-virus definitions and your anti-malware program definitions are updated frequently. Have these good security programs always loaded & working in the "background". Most excellent anti-virus software packages can be set to warn you before you go to a known bad website. But, all security programs are always "playing catch-up"!!

If you unfortunate enough to get infected, take your computer box to good computer repair shop & let them deal with the problem. They have the expertise & software necessary to "clean" your computer!!

Answer Man - Photo Organizer

Answer Man

I have hundreds of photos, but they are not organized well, so I have trouble locating the correct one when I want to attach it to an e-mail. Can you suggest a good photo organizer?

My answer may surprise you. I prefer to do my own organization. You can do the same thing by creating folders and sub folders and dragging your photos into the correct folders. Then re-name your photos to give them meaningful names rather than the arbitrary numbers photo programs assign.

Here's an example: Suppose your name is Smith, and you have a son named John, and he has a daughter named Sally. Create a folder and name it John Smith's Family. Then you can create sub folders. One might be named Sally's birthday party. Another might be named Sally's graduation. When you re-name the photos to put in the folders, you may find it hard to give photos unique names. In that event, name them Sally's Party 1, Sally's Party 2, etc.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Answer Man - Why 2 E-Mail Addresses

Answer Man

I couldn't get into my e-mail account. They said my account had been compromised. I tried my correct password, but I couldn't get in. What could I have done?

What you should have is an alternate e-mail account on line with your e-mail provider. When your account is compromised, the provider will send a link to your alternate e-mail which will let you change your password. You can use the same password you have been using, and all should work again with your original e-mail account.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Answer Man - Menu Disappears

Answer Man

The menu bar in Internet Explorer is gone. When I move the mouse near the top of the screen the menu appears but often flickers. It's driving me crazy. How do I solve the problem?

It sounds as though some one set Internet Explorer to display in full screen mode. That mode takes away the tool bars until the mouse is moved near the top of the screen. The F11 function key will toggle your settings so that it can display the tool bars or no tool bars. If your version of Internet Explorer has Tools in the menu, click on Tools and then un-check Full Screen.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Answer Man - Learning to Type

Answer Man

I never learned to touch type. Can you suggest a good typing program?

Go to the website and do a search for Stamina. Download the Stamina typing program. It's free and easy to follow. They claim you will be touch typing within two hours.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Answer Man - Touch Pad

Answer Man

The touch pad on my laptop is driving me crazy. It's too sensitive. What can I do about the problem?

Well, you can adjust the sensitivity by going into the Control Panel, selecting mouse and changing the sensitivity, but I have a better suggestion. Since touch pads are too difficult to control, I suggest you plug in a small laptop mouse or trackball into a USB port. Yes, I know, it's something else to carry, but I think you will find it's much easier to use than the irksome touch pad.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Answer Man - What do printer copies cost?

Answer Man

What does it cost me to print from my computer printer?

It has been estimated that an inkjet printer costs 8 cents per page to print in black and white and 25 cents to print in color. You may doubt those figures until you purchase some new ink cartridges. Laser printer costs are 4-5 cents per page. If you want to save money, buy a $100 laser printer and use re-cycled toner cartridges for most of your printing. Use the inkjet only when you must have color copies.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Answer Man - Electricity Costs

Answer Man

What are the electric costs to run my computer?

Watts times hours divided by 1000 = Kilowatt Hours. If we assume that you have a desktop computer, with a large power supply (250 watts), and a 24" flat panel screen (72 watts), you are using 322 watts per hour. If the computer is on 10 hours per day, you are using 3222 watts or 3.2 kilowatts per day. Sumter electric rates are 10.5 cent per kilowatt hour. If you do your calculations, you'll end up with about $123 per year to run your computer without using sleep, hibernation or any other power saving schemes. SECO lists the following example on their web site.
Personal Computer and Monitor:
(120 + 150 Watts × 4 hours/day × 365 days/year) ÷ 1000
= 394 kWh × 10.5 cents/kWh
= $41.37/year

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Answer Man - Writing a Book

Answer Man

The Club recently had a speaker who spoke about writing a book. Her comments were very helpful. Do you have any other book writing suggestions?

Here is a very important tip. Before you start to write, be certain that you understand publishing guidelines. Choose a word publishing program format that you know the publisher will accept. Set margins, fonts, font size, indents, page numbering, headers and footers that the publisher requests before you type the first word. Learn how to put all of those settings in a default format (usually called a template) so that every time you open the program, the settings are where you want them.

If you don't make those settings at the onset of your writing, and have to change margins, fonts, etc., you will be in for much more work than you ever imagined.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Answer Man - File Extensions

Answer Man

What do the letters after a file name mean?

The letters are known as file extensions. You can use the letters to identify the type of program that was used to create the file. For example: .doc means document file and was created using Microsoft Word. .xls means the document was created using a Microsoft Excel spread sheet. .odt is an extension used in Libre Office Text Writer. .ods is a Libre office spreadsheet document.
Some programs, such as Libre Office, will open the files with all the above listed extensions.
Libre Office can even create PDF (portable document format) files that can even be opened using Apple computers.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Several members of our Club have been contacted by a group called  The group is interested in selling computer and counseling services to our members.  Despite the fact that I sent the group an e-mail on June 6th to tell them we don't give our membership lists to outside groups and don't encourage commercial ventures  trying to sell services to our membership, they continue trying to get our officers and members to give them access to our Club.   I think their tactics are reprehensible.  Any member contacted by Redylinks should tell the Redylinks representative to contact me.

Hot Weather

For some reason I have trouble getting on the internet when the weather is very hot, that is over 90'.
Is it me, or is it true

Answer Man - Using a Flash Drive

Answer Man

I have a few documents that I'm afraid of losing and would like to back them up inexpensively. I have been told to buy a flash drive, but I don't know how to use one. Can you help?

A flash drive is inserted into one of the USB ports in your computer. If it doesn't go in the port easily, turn it over and try again. When you click your mouse on Computer (My Computer in XP), you will see the flash drive listed. It may appear as USB drive, Flash Drive, Cruzer or something similar. Double click on it's icon and the contents of the drive will be listed. Of course, if the drive is new, there will be nothing in the drive. You can copy your documents and paste them into the empty drive space or drag and drop them there just as you would do with your hard drive.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Answer Man - White Square

Answer Man

I downloaded a program called Free Ride Games. It put some sort of large white square in the middle of the screen. I can't get rid of the square. I tried changing the background, changing the screen saver, uninstalling the program and system repair. Nothing works. Help!

Many programs, leave residuals that are extremely difficult to remove. Even registry cleaners appear ineffective in removing them. In extreme cases the only good solution is to do a System Recovery. That means to return the computer hard drive to the way it behaved when you first purchased the computer. One way to do a recovery is to note if a recovery function key is listed on the screen when you first boot the computer. That key is normally F11. Press the key as soon as you see it listed on the screen. The other recovery method is from recovery disks. If you restore from disk, you will have to also install various drivers such as those for networking, printing, etc.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Board Meeting Minutes - June

ORCC Board Minutes – June 10, 2011

In Attendance: Harry Kirby, Elliott Bogart, Jim Dillman, John Baccoli, Ron Kenyon, Laura Stein, Alan Marcus, Lawrence Bauer, Dave Simmons

The meeting was called to order by President, Alan Marcus, at 9:00 AM in the Island Club.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read by Alan Marcus. There were no corrections or additions.

Laura Stein gave the Treasurer's Report. Receipts included $16 from 50/50, $10 in dues and $25 for projector rental from New York Club. The current balance is $2773.30

Ron Kenyon gave a blog report. We had two classes with 8 people in attendance. The classes went well, but two computers performed poorly. Ron suggested that members who have laptops bring their laptops to the classes. The blog had 242 page visits for the month of May. Ron is looking into the addition of tutorials and aps to the blog.

Alan Marcus stated that 4 of the club's laptop computers appear to have little RAM memory. Jim will check the specifications. Harry Kirby moved that we purchase another Gigabyte if the computers will accept the memory. Motion seconded by Bob Leiner. Jim
Dillman will purchase the memory if the computers can accept it.

Elliott Bogart suggested that we give away the two poorer laptops via drawing at a regular club meeting. Board members were unanimous in approving the suggestion. Bob Leiner will check the specs of the machines so the winners will know what they are getting. The computers will be given away “As Is”.

John Baccoli said the he an several others were not receiving the Treasurer's reports. Laura will mail the latest report again. Board members who receive the new report are to let Laura know if minutes were received.

Lawrence Bauer will become an administrator for the blog in the fall.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 AM.

Respectfully submitted

Alan Marcus, Acting Secretary

How To Keep Track Of New Comments Made On A Post

As you've noticed, the most recent post is always at the top of the blog. That's called reverse
chronological order. But maybe there was a question asked a few days ago that you were
wanting to know the answer. Now it's way down the front page or even on another page.
You don't have to scan down through the posts to find the one you wanted. It's easy to
monitor the comments of any post.

When you first see a post that you're interested in click on "comments" under the post. Then go
to the lower right, below the comment box, and you'll see "Subscribe by email". You must be
signed-in to your Blog account to see this. When you click on Subscribe it will show the email
that future comments will be sent to. Any time after that you can also "Unsubscribe". You
don't have to actually leave a comment in order to follow the post. You just have to Subscribe.

Every time someone comments on that post, from now on, you will receive an email. The
email message will tell you who commented and what they said and the title of the post. It
will also give you a click through, to "Post" your own comment or to "Unsubscribe" from
future comments. 

So, even though a post won't stay at the top, you can stay on top of a post via email.

Answer Man - Photo Screen Saver

Answer Man

A friend of mine has various photos pop up on his computer screen rather than use a standard screen saver. I'd like to have my computer display photos in the same way. What must I do to have my pictures show up?

Click Start, Control Panel, Appearance, Screen Saver. In Xp scroll through the screen saver list until you find "My Pictures Slideshow", then click OK. In Vista and Windows 7 the screen saver is just called Photos.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Answer Man - Saving E-Mails

Answer Man

I get dozens of e-mails every day. I want to save a few. It's a pain to have to go through the long list of e-mails inserting checks in those I want to delete. Is there a simpler way?

Try this. Insert a check in the box that will select all e-mails. Then, just un-check the ones you want to keep. Select Delete, and all the junk e-mails will be gone.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Answer Man - Keyboard Shortcuts

Answer Man

When I use Microsoft Word, I can go into to Edit menu and find commands for Copy and Paste, but sometimes I'm on a web site that doesn't have an Edit menu. How can I copy and paste when there is no Edit menu?

You need to learn to use keyboard shortcuts. The next time you are using Word or any other word processing program, go into the Edit menu. Next to the command for Copy you will see Ctrl + C. That means that if you hold down the Ctrl Key and the C key on the keyboard you will copy whatever has been highlighted. You will find other keyboard shortcuts next to other commands. For example, CTRL + V means Paste.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Answer Man - Manuscript Format

Answer Man

I'm thinking about writing a book. Most publishers want the writing in what they call manuscript format. What is that format, and how do I get it?

It seems that most publishing houses want similar formats. They generally want 1" margins (left and right), Courier 12 point type, double spacing between paragraphs, total word counts, etc. You can use most any word processing program to set these parameters. You can use free programs such as Libre Office or Open Office or paid programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works or Word Perfect. Although Word Pad and Note Pad normally come with Windows operating systems, I find them to be limited in capabilities for publishing purposes.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Answer Man - Favorites Are Gone

Answer Man

I downloaded an updated Internet Explorer, and now I don't see my favorites. Are they gone forever?

The new browsers are streamlined. Most menu bars are gone. Internet Explorer has a star at the top right of the screen. Clicking on the star will reveal the favorites. In Google Chrome, click the wrench at the top right of the screen. Then click Bookmark Manager.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Answer Man - Computer Erratic

Answer Man

My computer behaves erratically. Sometimes it just locks up for no reason. Is there a simple way to see if all is working as it should be?

A program called Chkdsk can locate and fix errors on your hard drive. Click Start, My Computer. Left click on the C drive and right click on Properties. Click Tools, Check Now, Error Checking, Automatically fix errors and Start.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Answer Man - Salvage an Old Computer

Answer Man

I have an old computer that locked up. It displays the "Blue screen of death", and I tried formatting the hard drive, re-partitioning and re-installing Windows from recovery disks. Nothing worked. Should I just give up and purchase a new computer?

I have found that often Linux based systems such as Ubuntu will install and run without difficulty on computers that seemed hopeless otherwise. I suggest that users download the latest version of Ubuntu and burn it to a CD. It may prove very handy when you see the dreaded BOD.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Answer Man - Address Book

Answer Man

I'm looking for a simple free address book. Any suggestions?

Try E-Z Contacts. It's an easy to use program but has lots of great features.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Answer Man - Back-Ups

I received a call today from an Oak Run resident whose computer was displaying the "Blue Screen of Death". The screen is called that because it normally means that the only way your computer can recover is by re-formatting the drive and installing the original operating system and info. He was unable to start the computer in safe mode, couldn't get a command prompt, and the mouse didn't work. He had backed up some of his writing, but most of "My documents" was not backed up. We had to do a destructive restore to get his computer working again. He lost virtually everything. Like so many users he learned to back-up after the fact.

I have two suggestions for users: Create restore disks for your computer. Buy an outboard hard drive and make incremental back-ups every day.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Answer Man - Wide Screen Monitors

Answer Man

I would like to purchase a new monitor for my computer. I understand that it is difficult to buy anything but a wide screen type. Can I purchase a regular square shaped monitor?

I didn't know, until a fellow Oak Run Computer Club member told me, that most computer stores are only selling the wide screen monitors. The new monitors are generally referred to by their aspect ratio of 16: 9. The monitors most of us are used to are 4:3. From what I read, the change has been made for a couple of reasons. Most movies today are in 16:9 format and therefore show correctly on the new monitors. I also understand that it is less expensive to manufacturer the new type (don't ask me why). I have looked at the results on both types of monitors, and I'm still partial to the 4:3 format.

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.