Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Answer Man - Fake Anti-Virus

Answer Man

My computer has a pop-up message about Vista Home Security 2012.  It directs me to run some sort of scan.  Should I?

Vista Home Security 2012 is an insidious virus that prevents you from running your regular anti-virus programs.  It looks legitimate, but isn't.  The only way I have found to get rid of it is to restore the computer to an earlier date and then run a program such as Malware Bytes.  I did just that for a friend's computer.  His machine had 38 items of malware.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Answer Man - Removing programs

Answer Man

What is the proper way to remove a program from your computer?

Click Start, Control Panel, Uninstall.  A list of installed programs will appear.  Click on the program you'd like to remove.  Click Uninstall.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Answer Man - Skype

Answer Man

What is Skype, and how do you use it?

Skype is a VOIP (voice over internet protocal service) that lets people make phone calls to each other over the Internet.  Calls between Skype users are free all over the world.  However, if the calls are made to phones, rather than to other computers, charges apply.  Go to skype.com to read about the service or to download the program.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Answer Man - Saving phone photos

Answer Man

My cell phone will take pictures, but it is costly to send them.  I have to pay for each e-mail.  Is there a less expensive way?

You can purchase a mini SD card that goes into a slot in most cell phones.  Save the photos to the card.  When the card is full, remove the card and insert it in the appropriate slot on your computer.  Then you can save all the pictures to your computer and can e-mail them at no charge.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Answer Man - Distance between cities

Answer Man

How can I easily find the distances between cities?

Click  www. bing.com or enter it in the address line of your browser.  Click on Maps.  Click on Get Directions.  Enter the two cities.  You will get directions and distance.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Answer Man - Deleting Header Info

Answer Man

People often forward jokes and other info that has been around the world umpteen times and has hundreds of addresses and other info.  How can I just forward the jokes?

All the unwanted info is called Header information.  To get rid of it, hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse across all the information you don't want to forward.  Then press the delete key on the keyboard.  All the header information will be gone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Answer Man - Free Internet

Answer Man

Where can I get free Internet service?

You need to find a Wi-Fi location.  Many business provide Wi-Fi.  Locally, McDonalds locations, Starbucks, bookstores and many other businesses have the service.  You can also use the computers at Freedom Library to access the Internet.  Doing an Internet search for Wi-Fi Ocala will bring up many sites.  Here's one such link you might try: http://www.superpages.com/cities/mtg/wifi/fl/ocala/

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Computer Class, Jan 26

The next class is on Thursday, Jan 26, at 6:30 PM in the Orchid Club. This class is called  "Intro to Blogs", a history of blogs slide presentation. Plus, if you bring a laptop, you will create your own Google Account. The account will allow you to have your own blog and/or take part in club blogs. This class is required for those who will participate in the "Create Your Own Blog" class on Feb 11. It's very easy to be a "blogger" once you've taken these classes. This information is especially helpful to clubs or individuals wanting to have their own easy-to-use website, a blog, that can be shared with club members or family and friends. Classes are open to all residents. No sign-up required, just show up. Observers are welcome without a laptop. Computer Club members can attend any class for free by wearing their 2012 member badge.

Laptop won't boot

I have a Gateway (brand changed, see comments) laptop that will not boot up. If I try to open in safe mode it will get halfway through the loading of drivers then stops.
If I go into recovery mode it starts the recovery then just sits at a blank screen.
Any ideas on what is wrong or what to do would be appreciated.

Answer Man - Optical vs. Digital zoom

Answer Man

I'm about to buy a digital camera, but I'm confused.  What is the difference between optical and digital zoom.

Optical zoom works like a telephoto lens.  A 3x zoom means that you magnify the image 3 times.  Digital zoom is just a fancy way of cropping a picture so that only a small section remains.  Some newer cameras have 20 and 30X zooms.  They're great when you want to take a picture of animals that are way off in the distance.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Answer Man - New cartridges don't work

Answer Man

I put new ink cartridges in my printer, and now the printer won't work at all.  What's wrong?

My best guess is that you forgot to remove the protective tape or plastic piece that protects the cartridges.
Remove the cartridges.  Remove the tape and re-insert the cartridges.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Answer Man - Re-Filled Cartridges

Answer Man

Would I save a great deal of money by re-filling my own ink cartridges?

It may end up costing you more.  Often, re-filled cartridges leak and gum up printers.  Laser toner cartridges are a different matter.  They rarely have problems and are much less expensive.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Answer Man - Printer economy mode

Answer Man

What is the meaning of printer economy mode?

Most of the printing we do is for ourselves and doesn't have to be perfect.  Economy mode uses less ink, and therefore the resulting copies are generally quite lite in color.  Laser printers often have a function called Toner Save which serves the same function.  You can save quite a bit of money by operating in normal mode only when you have to have very good copies.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Answer Man - What is a printer driver?

Answer Man

What is a printer driver?

Each printer requires some software to be operational with your computer system.  When you purchase a printer it normally comes with a disk that must be loaded into your computer.  You don't want to lose that disk.  If the file becomes corrupted or you need to use the printer with another computer, the disk will be needed.  If you have an old printer and no disk, you can often download the driver software from the printing company website.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Giant Virus Problems

This news just in:  Symantec (Maker of Norton Anti-virus software) has been hacked and the source code for many of their programs has been stolen.  This includes PC Anywhere, Go Back and Norton.  If you use any of those products, be aware that problems could arise.  My advice is to switch to AVG, Avast, Kapersky or Microsoft Security Essentials for the time being.
Do not open e-mails from people you don't know.  Be particularly careful with attachments.

Answer Man - Flash Drive

Answer Man

I won a flash drive at the Club's holiday party.  What can I do with the thing?

Flash drives are like miniature hard drives.  You can save or copy files to the drives.  You could use the drive as a small back-of your files or you could transport those files to another computer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LibreOffice Margins

At today's monthly meeting we had a question about adjusting margins in LibreOffice Writer. While many word processing programs use "Page Setup" under the "File" menu. LibreOffice does it a differently. To set the margins of your page use the "Format" menu and select "Page".

Then in the lower left of the "Page Style: Default" window you can set all 4 margins. As you can see there are many other parameters available to be modified from this window.

These instructions should work the same for OpenOffice.

Monthly Meeting, Jan 18, 2012

The January meeting took place on a cool and rainy morning. But the weather didn't affect the turnout much. We had about 70 people in attendance, many of them new members. We were also glad to welcome 4 visitors from the Ocala Palms Computer Club.

Jim Dillman was our guest speaker. Jim talked about digital cameras, photo processing software and websites available for all your photo handling needs. After Jim's presentation we had a Q and A session with the Club Gurus.

The meeting came to a close with drawings for Door Prizes and 50/50. Below are a few photos which you can click to enlarge.

Answer Man - Spreadsheets

Answer Man

I keep hearing the term spreadsheet.  What are they and what do you do with them?

Spreadsheets are the computer equivalent of old accounting ledgers.  One might be used to keep track of a businesses payroll.  The computer versions have the ability to do math calculations very quickly.  I use a simple spreadsheet to balance my checkbook each month.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Executive Board Minutes - January 13, 2012

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

Laura Stein, Treasurer, reported a balance of $2538.89.

Ron Kenyon, the ORHA webmaster, reported that the first computer class, “Introduction to Websites,” was a success and thanked the club for the use of their computer and projector. The next class, “Introduction to Blogs,” will be held on January 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM in the Orchid Club. Ron made request to borrow the club’s older laptops for future classes, thereby supplying individuals who do not have the ability to bring a laptop. Motion made by Elliott Bogart, seconded by Bob Leiner, and approved by the Board. Additional classes and dates are posted on the ORHA Blog.

Jim Dillman will present “Uploading Photos” at the January 18th general meeting followed by Q&A. Mike Hubert from ACI will offer a program on Computer Security and Maintenance on February 15. Frazer Crane is on deck for March 21 and will give a presentation on Back-up Ideas and Program Status and Needs.

As a follow-up to the October 2011 Power Point presentation on Basics of Computers, Alan Marcus is compiling a future presentation on Advanced Basics of Computers.

Laurence Bauer was assigned the task of researching a high-definition projector as a possible replacement to the club’s current projector thus improving clarity at the general meetings. Laurence is to report his findings to the Board at the February 10 meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H Norton

Answer Man - Do I need a 16 Megapixel Camera

Answer Man

I see that camera stores are now selling 16 megapixel cameras.  They're higher priced.  Are they better?

It is true that the more megapixels the more detail there is in the picture, but, how much do you need?  Unless you are going to make huge enlargements, a camera with fewer megapixels will work fine.  I am still using a 4 megapixel camera which works fine.  Most people e-mail photos.  The more megapixels the more time it takes to send those pics.  Large pictures have to be compressed if you want to e-mail them.  If you want a good camera, look for other features such as the quality of the lens.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jim Dillman PowerPoint LINKS

Digital Camera Presentation Jan. 18, 2012 - Links to Subject Matter
Sensors: http://tinyurl.com/76q6alc and http://tinyurl.com/739enma
Free processing software:
        Irfanview http://irfanview.com
        Picasa http://picasa.com/
        Faststone Image Viewer http://faststone.org
    Robust processing:
        Photoscape http://tinyurl.com/7bvpy2n/
        Zoner Free v. 14 http://free.zoner.com/
        Paint.net Free http://www.getpaint.net/
Online processing resources:
    Ipiccy.com: http://tinyurl.com/2gltnv
    Pixlr.com: http://pixlr.com
Online learning resources:
    Adorama Turorials  http://www.adorama.com/alc/
    Digital Photography School  http://tinyurl.com/dp6d9

Answer Man - Photoshopping

Answer Man

What does the term Photoshopped mean?

The term has been taken from perhaps the most successful photo editing program of all time, Adobe Photo Shop.  The term means to alter a photo.  A good example is seen in a recent photo of the funeral of the past ruler of North Korea.  Several of the viewers, who were not in neat straight lines, were taken out of the photo so that a nice neat photo with everyone in line could be shown.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Answer Man - Copied JPG loses quality

Answer Man

Is it true that everytime I copy a photo file that it loses quality?

It's partly true.  If, like most photo files it is a JPG or compressed file, every time you copy a copy you compress the file even more.  The secret to quality is to retain the original and go back to it when you want a picture of top quality.  RAW picture files (those that have not been compressed) will not lose quality when copied.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Answer Man - $30 Printers

Answer Man

I have seen printers for sale as cheap as $30.  Can they be any good?

I have been using a $30 All-In-One printer for three years.  The quality is fine.  Manufacturers give away the printers so they can sell the ink which often costs more than the printers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Answer Man - Scheduling Defragmentation

Answer Man

One of the reasons often given for slow shut down is that the computer hasn't been defragmented often enough.  My computer is set to defrag every Wednesday at 1:00 AM, but I still have slow shut down.  What could be wrong?

I'll bet you shut your computer down at night and therefore the computer never defrags.  Either change the scheduled time or leave your computer on at night.  If you have a large hard drive, the defrag might take up to 24 hours if it hasn't run in many months.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Answer Man - Slow shut down

Answer Man

My computer takes forever to shut down.  What can I do?

Slow shut downs often occur when a newly added program causes problems.  Click Start.  Type msconfig in search box.  Click on Msconfig when it appears in the box above the search box.  Click the Start Up Tab.  Click Disable All checked applications, and OK.  Re-boot the computer.  Then go through the normal shut down procedure.  The computer should shut down within 30 to 40 seconds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Answer Man - Flash Drive

Answer Man

I won a flash drive at the Club's holiday party, but I have no idea how to use it.  What do I do now?

Plug the flash drive into a USB port on your computer.  If it doesn't fit, turn it over and try again.  Then if you click on Start and then Computer, you will see a notation about a flash drive and a letter will be next to the words.  Let us suppose the letter is an E.  Click on the E.  You will see that the drive is empty.  You can drag files or photos or music from elsewhere on your computer to the blank space on the flash drive, thus creating a back-up.  Or, you could create a new document and save it to your E: drive.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Answer Man - Laptop Shuts Down

Answer Man

When I start my laptop, the screen lights for a moment and then the computer completely shuts down.  I have tried it several times.  What's wrong?

My bet is that you are running on battery, and there is very little charge left in the battery.  Plug the unit in using the computer's power supply.  You'll be up and running in no time.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Answer Man - Best Computer Brand

Answer Man

What brand of computer is best?

The following story will answer your question:  I needed to replace the system battery in my HP computer.  I opened up the computer and found that the CD drive was made by Sony (A Japanese manufacturer).  The following words were printed on the drive "Made in China".  You will find that typical of all manufacturers.  So, what I am saying is that there isn't a great deal of difference in  brands.  You can buy an Asus, Toshiba, Sony, HP, Gateway, Dell, Acer, Compaq or most any other brand and you will find that the parts come from Malaysia, China, Japan or the Phillipines.  Buy where you get the best service.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Answer Man - CD Burner

Answer Man

Can you recommend a good CD burning program?

I like CD burner Xp.  http://cdburnerxp.se/en/home.  It's very easy to use.  Just drag the files you want to burn to the lower frame and click Burn.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Answer Man - Finding Answers

Answer Man

I know some people can find answers to most anything by using their computers.  What's the secret to doing research with a computer?

The secret is in one word: Descriptors.  Descriptors are words that typify the info you want to find.  For example, let us suppose you wanted to find out how secure your Linksys router with a password.  Appropriate descriptors might be Linksys Router Password.  Just enter those terms into a search engine such as Yahoo and many answers will appear.  Click on one of the answers to see if it easy to understand.  If it isn't, choose another answer.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Answer Man - Florida State Parks

Answer Man

I know you camp in Florida State Parks.  How do you find information about the parks and reserve campsites?

Click on this link: http://www.floridastateparks.org/.  It will take you to a list of all 160 state parks in Florida.  Click on Find a Park.  Select Parks Map.  Select the section of the state where you want to camp.  Click on the dot next to a park you want.  A description of the park will appear.  Click on Reservations.  Reserve America (a division of Ticketmaster) will reserve sites of you and keep a record of your reservations.  Select the amenities you desire (such as 50 amp service) and a date or date range.  Chcck the availability.  If the site is available, you can enter your credit card information.  You will receive a confirmation when the deal goes through.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Answer Man - Word Wrap around a Photo

Answer Man

I need a good word processing program that can insert a picture into the text, that will let me make small pictures so I have three to a page.

I had to research the answer, but here it is:  Type in the text first.  In Word and Libre Office, click Insert Picture.  Select the picture you want.  Look for the picture toolbar and click Text Wrapping.  Then select Square.  When you resize the picture, by dragging in the corners (handles), the text will wrap around the picture.  You can make the pictures as small as you like and put in as many as you like.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Computer Class, Jan 6

The next Computer Class is Friday, Jan. 6, 1:30PM to 3:30PM in the Orchid Club. This will be a repeat of the "Intro to Websites" class but will include additional information. If you missed the Dec.16 class because of holiday activities then be sure to come to this next class. If you were at the first class and want a refresher plus a chance to learn a few more tips then come again to the Jan 6 class. Bring your laptop so you can try out these tips and tricks right in class. Don't have a laptop? Don't worry, everyone is welcome. For more information contact Ron Kenyon at 897-0297. To see the 2012 class schedule or suggest classes click HERE. You don't have to sign up you just have to show up!

Answer Man - Computer Freezes

Answer Man

My computer turns on, and the mouse moves the cursor, but none of the icons I click on will do anything.  I cant click on the start button either.  What now?

Try a soft boot.  Hold down the CTRL, ALT and DEL keys all at the same time.  When a screen appears, click on Task Manager.  Then click to stop the currently running task.  That should have you back in operation.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Answer Man - Hybrid Camera

Answer Man

I want to buy a new digital camera for use with my computer.  I have heard the term Hybrid camera.  What does that mean?

The hybrid is a cross between an SLR (single lens reflex) and a point and shoot camera.  It has the advantage of a larger sensor than the point and shoot and has interchangeable lenses as in the SLR.  Manufacturers are betting that the hybrids will be big sellers.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Answer Man - Hard Drive Size

Answer Man

I need a new computer but am completely confused by hard drive size.  What size do I need?

I know why you are confused.  Manufacturers are selling computers with 1 Terabyte drives and larger, however, if you are a normal user, a 320 Gigabyte drive should be large enough for your use.  People who store  thousands of videos or who are heavy game users, may want larger drives, but most people are paying for capacity that they don't need.

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