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.

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