Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keyboard Shortcuts, part 1 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.

Most Commonly Used Shortcuts:

Ctrl + A = Select All;    Selects all text, graphics, etc. on the page
Ctrl + X = Cut;    Removes the selected text or item and places it on the clipboard
Ctrl + C = Copy;    Copies the selected text or item to the clipboard
Ctrl + V = Paste;    Pastes the cut or copied text or item from the clipboard to the cursor location

This is the first in a series of Keyboard Shortcuts. Watch for more coming soon.
Click HERE to see part 2. Click HERE to see part 3. Click HERE to see part 4.

Answer Man - Seeing my digital pictures

Answer Man

I just bought my first digital camera.  I took several pictures and can see them on the camera display.  Now, how do I get the pictures into the computer?

You have several options.  If your computer has camera card slots, you remove the camera card from the computer and insert it into the corresponding slot on the computer.  A pop up screen will ask you if you want to save the photos to the computer.  If your computer does not have camera card slots, you can connect a cable that came with the camera from the camera to the computer's USB slot.  Again, a pop up will give you further directions.  Some people use camera docks.  The camera sits on the dock and the dock is connected to the computer via USB cable.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Answer Man - Changing time and date

Answer Man

How do I change the time and date on my computer?

Left click on the time that shows on the task bar at the bottom of the screen.  Click where it says Change Time and Date Settings.  You will be given the option to change the date, time and time zone.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Answer Man - What size hard drive?

Answer Man

I am thinking of purchasing a new computer.  I have no idea what size hard drive I should get.  Today's machines commonly may come with 500 Megabyte drives or even 1 and 2 terabyte drives.  What should I buy?

The size of course, depends upon how you use a computer.  But, let me tell you what's on my computer and how much space it takes, and it will give you a general guide. My machine contains a great variety of programs which occupy 64 Gigabytes.  The built in back up partition contains 8 Gigabytes.  5000 photos take up 6 Gigabytes, downloads have used 8 Gigabytes and 100's of MP3 music files have used 7 Gigabytes.  Thus, I have used approximately 87 Gigabytes of a 500 Gigabyte drive.  Most new computers come with a minimum of a 320 Gigabyte drive.  As you can see, that would be ample in my case. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Answer Man - What's Inside My Computer?

Answer Man

Is there a quick way to determine what's inside my computer?

Click Start.  Then right click on Computer.  Left click on Properties.  You will be able to find the name of the processor, such as Intel or AMD, the speed of the processor, whether you have a 32 bit or 64 bit machine, how much memory (RAM) is in the computer, the operating system you are using and the service pack number.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Answer Man - Screen Saver

Answer Man

Sometimes I use my computer for many hours at a time.  I'm concerned that I don't have a screen saver.  What do you suggest I use for a screen saver?

Years ago screen savers were needed.  If a monitor showed the same picture for several hours at a time, it was possible to get an image burn on the monitor.  That is, portions of the picture would remain on the screen even when a new picture was displayed.  Today, however, monitors are greatly improved and image burns are a thing of the past.  Therefore, screen savers aren't needed.  However, if you want to have a screensaver you can.  It's your choice.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Answer Man - Insidiuous Popups

Answer Man

A box pops up on my monitor with a message about checking my registry.  I can't get rid of the box and it pops up in front of everything else so I can't see what's underneath.  I can't drag the box out of the way and task manager can't get rid of the dang thing.  What can I do?

There are a couple of possibilities.  You can try to restore to an earlier date (which may or may not work).  You can boot into Safe Mode by pressing the F8 key on start up and then re-starting in normal mode, or you might have to do a complete recovery (which erases everything on your drive and restores the programs to their original condition).  The last step will definitely work, but all your files and settings will be gone.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Answer Man - Different Word Processors

Answer Man

I wrote a bunch of documents in Microsoft Word.  I opened them up in Word Pad and they look entirely different.  What can I do about the problem?

Documents look different in different word processors.  The formatting changes.  The fonts, point size and margins may all be altered.  You need to stay consistent.  If you create the document in one format you need to continue to use that format.  If you don't do that, you will be constantly editing your documents to make them look alike.  The only way to keep all documents alike is to save them as PDF (portable document format). 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Answer Man - Weak Wireless Signal

Answer Man

I just installed a router to make my home wireless, but the signal is rather weak.  Is there some way to improve the signal?

Since there are many ways to improve the signal, I'm not going to answer your question directly, but instead refer you to the following Microsoft website for answers.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Answer Man - Hard Drive Size

Answer Man

I am going to buy a new computer. Some come with 2 Terabyte drives. Do I need a drive that big?

If you are an avid gamer or video editor you might need a large hard drive, but most users use very little of their hard drive capacity. In my case, I have a 500 Gigabyte hard drive, but I have only used 85 Gigabytes . I store 5000 photos, MP3 music, dozens of software programs and lots of personal documents. My suggestion is to spend less on the hard drive size and more on memory.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Answer Man - Is it True?

Answer Man

I often receive e-mail from others with stories that seem impossible. One I remember said something about have of the US Representatives didn't graduate from high school. Is there any good way to check out suspicious stories? is one of the best sites to check out what they call urban legends. Snopes will repeat some of the popular versions of the stories and then state whether they are true, false or partially true. The next time a story sounds to good to be true or too impossible, check it out at Snopes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Answer Man - Photo Screen Saver

Answer Man

I don't like the choice of screen savers in Vista and Windows 7. Can I create my own?

Both operating systems give you the option of using photos. If you click on photos in the list of screensavers, you will be asked the location of the photos. Most people keep their photos in the folder My Pictures. You could show all pictures in that folder. If you want to limit which pictures are shown, you can create a folder and paste just a few pictures in that folder that you would like to see on a rotating basis. After the time you set for the screensaver to appear your pictures will appear one after the other. It's like having a giant photo frame.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Windows 7 Desktops

Soon after starting to use Windows 7 I learned that there were desktop themes for Australia, Great Britain, and South Africa in the hidden Windows files that were not shown in Control Panel. At that time, I knew how to install them in the "Appearance" files (under Control Panel), but I no longer remember how to do that. However, if you are not satisfied with the ordinary old Windows Desktop, you can find and download those (and several others) at the Microsoft Windows 7 website.

Baxter Stinson

Answer Man - Changing Cursor Shape

Answer Man

My computer cursor looks like a hand. How do I change it to an arrow shape?

Click Start, Control Panel. Find the mouse description (it's in different places in different operating systems). You will see various tabs that you can click on. One tab is pointer options. You can make the cursor or pointer into a hand shape, an arrow, a plus sign, etc. Another tab can be used to change the speed at which the pointer moves.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Channel 12 (read the fast way)

Everyone should know that there's a faster way to read Channel 12 notices or change them if need be. The ORHA website has a page called Message Board. It contains all the Channel 12 notices. You can read them all in a matter of minutes by just scrolling down the web page. The other advantage is that we can usually make changes faster than Channel 12. So if you need to post a notice or modify a current notice just email us at

Battery Back Up

My battery back up - is beeping- Does that mean that I need a new one?
Please advise - Frazer

Answer Man - Does it Pay to Fix Old Computer

Answer Man

I have an old computer. Does it pay to add more memory or should I buy a new computer?

Wow! That's a tough question. I would use the computer to connect to Crucial makes memory. The company can analyze your computer to find out how much memory the computer has, how much it can take and what it will cost. If you can get at least a gigabyte of memory in the computer for under $50 it might pay to fix it. If it costs more than that I would buy a new computer. You can buy a super computer with a 21.5" screen for under $500. Of course the whole question boils down to your finances and what you can afford.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Board Minutes - July 15, 2011

Board Meeting Decisions:

A "G" Router will be given away as a gift card option at the July 20 meeting.

Alan Marcus will discuss Net Book, Kindle, GOO Reader; Jim Dillman to discuss uploading of photos and card readers at the July meeting.

Louis Erickson Fernandez confirmed for Sept meeting. Subject to be computer security.

Two of the club's older computers the committe decided to "retire" will be given away "As Is" as a gift card option at the July 20 meeting.

Carol Norton, Secretary

Answer Man - Opening Word Files

Answer Man

My old computer that quit had Microsoft Word. My new computer doesn't have that program. How can I open my Word files?

Libre Office will open the Word files and you can save those files as Libre Office files or as Word files. You can download Libre Office free from

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Internet Explorer - Cookies

For those of you who are having trouble seeing your Sign-In with Internet Explorer please try the action below. We want to get your computer to recognize the cookies stored between these two sites. The following procedure was done on an XP computer with IE 8. Other combinations should be similar.

Go to IE's TOOLS menu and select INTERNET OPTIONS.
Now select the PRIVACY tab then the SITES button.
In the Address of website: box type then press the ALLOW button.
In the Address of website: box type then press the ALLOW button.
Press the OK button.

Now look at the vertical slider setting. It will be either Block All, High, Medium High,
Medium, Low or Accept All. I'll bet yours is set to Medium or higher. Move the
slider down to Accept All. Press the APPLY button then the OK button. Close the
Internet Explorer window. Wait for 15 seconds and open Internet Explorer again.

Try your Sign-In again. If you now have your Email Address showing along with New
Post and Sign-Out then you've fixed the problem. So go back to the PRIVACY tab
under INTERNET OPTIONS and raise the slider to Low. Press the APPLY button
then the OK button. Close the Internet Explorer window. Wait for 15 seconds and
open Internet Explorer. Continue this process (one position at a time) until you are
back to the original setting or you find out where it stops showing your Sign-In. Use
the highest privacy setting you can that will retain your Sign-In if you can't get back
to the original position.

If you have any questions then Comment on this post so others can benefit from your
experience. Those too shy to comment can email me at

Answer Man - Display upside down

Answer Man

I don't know what I did, but the display on the monitor is upside down. How do I turn it right side up?

One method is to press Ctrl, Alt and the Up arrow on the keyboard. If that doesn't work, right click on a blank spot on the desktop. Click on Properties. Look for the name of your graphics card and click on it. You should see something like Rotate Display that you can click on.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Answer Man - Flash Drive Autorun

Answer Man

Whenever I inserted my flash drive in a USB port a list would show up including whether I wanted to view my files. Yesterday, I inserted the drive and nothing showed up. What gives?

Microsoft had found that viruses and other malware were being introduced into computers as soon as the flash drives were inserted. In order to prevent that from happening, Microsoft introduced some security updates that disabled the autorun feature. You can still access the drives, however, by clicking on Start, Computer and the icon of the drive that appears. It might be, F: flash drive, for example.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Computer | Browser | Cookies, oh my!

Here's a site that can help you troubleshoot blog problems. The below link concerns
cookies mainly and why the correct security settings are so important. Also look at
some of the other posts and links for help with blogging problems.

My "Posts" don't Publish

Does anyone have a problem posting to the blog using Internet Explorer??
I/we in the Genealogy blog are having some posting issues and the posts end up in draft and not on the site.
Discussions within our group seem to favor using Firefox as a browser of choice, but that seems to be a "workaround" and not an answer to settings, browsers, windows platforms, etc.
The Genealogy Club has many members that use IE and other than the Firefox browser and are not interested in changing.
Can anyone shed light on the erratic behavior of the Blogger using Internet Explorer.
Thanks for any input.

Answer Man - Spreadsheet Use

Answer Man

What is a spreadsheet and what use does it have?

A spreadsheet is a series of rows and columns, called cells, that are identified by letters and numbers. The first cell in a spreadsheet is labeled A1. Spreadsheets have dozens of uses. Some of the most popular include: mathematical calculations, cash flow analysis, predicting changes in value, financial and cost accounting, bank reconciliations, taxes, calculating job costs, scheduling payments, controlling stocks, listing survey results and doing conversions of measurements.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Answer Man - Word Count

Answer Man

I'm publishing a book and the publisher wants to know the word count. Is there a simple way to count the words?

There sure is. Bring up the document in your word processor. Click on Tools and then on Word Count. A box will appear showing the total number of words.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Answer Man - Page Break

Answer Man

I am writing a book. Some of the pages only have writing in one short paragraph. In order to get to the next chapter I have been repeatedly pressing the Enter key. Is there a better method?

There certainly is. Click after the paragraph. Click on the Insert Menu and select Page Break. A new page will appear for the new chapter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Answer Man - Hyperlink

Answer Man

My word processor lists the term Hyperlink. What is a hyperlink and what do you do with one?

Hyperlink is the term for a link within a document. Let's assume that you write a letter to someone and you want them to have a link to a particular web site. Click on Insert and Hyperlink. Write the target address of the web site in the appropriate box and click Apply and Close. You will see that the link is underlined in blue. Anyone who clicks on the link will be taken to the referenced web site.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Answer Man - Macros

Answer Man

What is a macro and what can you do with one?

A macro is a simple command that can take the place of many commands. For example, let's assume that you want much of your word processing to be both in bold and in italics. A simple button on the menu bar or a combination of keys can turn the macro on or off. Look at the following youtube video for more info.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Answer Man - Bullets and Numbering

Answer Man

Is there a simple way to number a series of objects when using a word processing program?

Word, Open Office and Libre Office have numbering and bullet capability. To try it out, make a list. Try the following. List 4 vegetables.

  1. Beans
  2. Carrots
  3. Potatoes
  4. Corn

Highlight them all by dragging across them with the left mouse button down. Then click either the numbered icon or the bullet icon. The icons are toggles. Click once to apply the property, click again to remove it. If you post a blog on this site you will see that the blog has numbering and bullet capability.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Answer Man - Full Screen

Answer Man

I clicked somewhere on the page when a program asked if I wanted to view the page in Full Screen. Now I'm missing part of the menus and top toolbar. How can I get back to a normal page?

The F11 function key serves as a toggle in most programs. Push it once and you have full screen, push it again and the screen returns to normal.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Answer Man - Find and Replace

Answer Man

I am writing a book, and I used the name Bob Effren in dozens of places when I should have written Tom Jones. Is there any simple way to make the hundreds of changes I would have to make by hand?

It's very simple to make the change. Click on Edit and then click on Find and Replace. Type Bob Effren in the find box. Type Tom Jones in the Replace All box and be certain to click in the box for changing all occurrences. Click Close, and all the names will change.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Answer Man - Paste Special

Answer Man

What is the difference between Paste and Paste Special in Word and Excel?

Paste Special gives you some optional menus you might need. For example, let's assume you are trying to copy white printing on a black background. If you use paste, you won't see anything because you will be pasting white print on a white background. You can use Paste Special and click remove formatting. Your print will appear. If you are using Excel and want to maintain column width, you may again have to use Paste Special. Try paste special so you can see the options listed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Answer Man - Picture Download

Answer Man

I followed the download directions that came with my digital camera, but I don't see my pictures. What am I doing wrong?

You should see a file entitled DCIM (Digital camera image management). Left click on that file. Then you will see some obscure numbers or numbers and letters that the camera assigns to that batch of pictures. Left click on that. The pictures should appear. Click Edit, Select All and copy.
Then you can click Edit Paste on the file in the computer where you would like to store the pictures.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Answer Man - Browser History

Answer Man

Is there an easy way for me to see my browser history?

Hold down the Ctrl key and press the letter H. A list of visited sites will appear.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Answer Man - ISO files

Answer Man

I downloaded a program, but my computer says it can't open ISO files. What is an ISO file and what do I do with it?

ISO files are normally opened only after they are burned to CDs. You will need a CD burner that can handle ISO files. ISO files are similar to compressed files in that they can't be opened directly.
Many password unlocking files are downloaded in ISO format and have to be burned to CD before they will work.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Answer Man - UPS

Answer Man

What is a UPS and do I need one?

UPS stands for un-interupptible power supply. A UPS is actually a large battery with electronic controls that will immediately take over the powering of your computer if the regular electric source should fail. A UPS is particularly useful to users who might lose very important documents should the household power go out. Some users forget that after a few years the battery must be replaced or the UPS is useless.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Answer Man - Portrait/Landscape

Answer Man

How can I get my word processor to switch from portrait to landscape or landscape to portrait?

Most word processors can change orientation by clicking File, Print, Properties and then placing a check in the box before Portrait or Landscape.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Answer Man - Adjust Time and Date

Answer Man

How can I change the date, time or time zone on my computer?

Right click on the time in the taskbar at the bottom of the page. Left click on Adjust Date/Time. Select the item you'd like to change.

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.