Saturday, March 31, 2012

Answer Man - Test broadband speed

Answer Man

Can you tell me how to determine the speed of my Internet connection?

Try one of the following sites: or

Friday, March 30, 2012

Answer Man - Changing the computer background

Answer Man

How can I use a favorite photo as the background on the computer desktop?

Click on Start, Control Panel, Appearance and Personalization and Change Background. Click Browse to locate where your photo is stored and click Open. Click Apply and OK.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Answer Man - Burning a CD or DVD

Answer Man

How do I burn a CD or DVD?

You will need a good CD/DVD burner (writer).
I like CDburnerxp  -

Download the software and install it. Click on the icon that has been created. Two windows will appear. Insert a blank disk into the computer drive. Drag the items you want to write to CD/DVD from the top pane to the bottom pane. You do that by clicking on the item, holding down the left mouse button and moving the mouse to the bottom pane. Then let go of the mouse button. Click on the picture of a CD that has the words burn under it. Wait until the writing is complete.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Answer Man - Rumors

Answer Man

I just read on the Internet that a dog won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Is that possible?

I doubt it. It sounds as though you have been reading one of the thousand of ridiculous stories that float around the Internet. Learn to doubt everything you read unless it comes from a trusted verifiable source such as the Mayo Clinic, Microsoft's own website, the Library of Congress, etc. If you receive such a story try to check it out at a trusted site. is one of the most popular sites to check out rumors, but I would check several sites before I would repeat such a story.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Answer Man - Magic Jack Plus

Answer Man

I have a new Magic Jack Plus, and I don't understand what the icon for Magic Jack does.

The MJ Plus can be plugged into either a computer or a router. If it is plugged in to the computer, you will need to click on the icon to open up the dial pad. If the unit is plugged into your router, all you need to do is to dial the phone number you are calling from the phone itself. You won't need the icon at all.

Remember, you will have to dial an area code in addition to the phone number even when making local calls.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Answer Man - Can't edit scanned image

Answer Man

Someone sent  a document to me. I scanned it in to my computer, and tried to edit it, but the computer  won't let me change anything. What am I doing wrong?

You probably scanned the document as an image or picture. If you want to edit, you must scan the original in OCR mode (optical character recognition). If your scanner doesn't have OCR capability, you can download a free OCR program from When you are there, type free ocr in the search box.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Answer Man - Connect computer to TV

Answer Man

I would like to connect my computer to my TV.  Is that possible?

If you have a new computer and a fairly new TV they both will have HDMI connections, and a simple cable connection will make them work together.  If you have an older TV, you will probably need to buy a VGA to HDMI converter.  If you have an old TV, you will not have an HDMI connection, and while there are some ways to make the connection, you are better off buying a new TV and a new computer.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Answer Man - Microsoft Outlook

Answer Man

Where can I locate the files from Microsoft Outlook?  I would like to back them up.

Type *.pst in the search box of Windows7 or Vista.  Look up above the search box for the location.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Executive Board Minutes - March 16, 2012

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

In the absence of Laura Stein, Treasurer, Alan Marcus reported a balance of $2,868.53.

Ron Kenyon, ORHA webmaster, presented $60 check from the ORHA Board for rental of the club’s projector and requested reimbursement of $7.39 for printing of the club’s business cards. Ron reported the ORHA computer classes have been well received with requested future offerings being considered on Skype and Magic Jack. He is open to receiving suggestions regarding future classes.

Ron reported an Apple User’s group has been formed. The group wishes to remain informal, meeting the 4th Friday of the month. Two or three knowledgeable individuals within the group will be available to answer questions for new members.

Bob Leiner, who is experimenting with Windows 8, gave a brief synopsis of his experience with the operating system. He reported there is a definite advantage with speed but contains no start button and difficult to move around. Hopefully by the time it becomes available to the retail market, some features will be improved.

After much discussion regarding the club’s purchase of a high definition projector, it was decided to table the decision until next month while awaiting the results of the cable installation by Decca thus improving the clarity of the Orchid Club projector.

Frazer Crane is on deck for March 21 with his presentation on Back-up Ideas and Program Status and Needs. On April 18 the club will feature a program on smart phones given by Johnathan Ruiz and Jean Hanshaw from ATT. They will have a display of several phones.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40 AM.
Respectfully submitted,
Carol H. Norton

Answer Man - SATA Drives

Answer Man

The specs for my computer list something called a SATA hard drive.  What is that?

SATA stands for Serial ATA.  The drive replaces parallel ATA drives (formerly called IDE).  The advantages are: reduced cable size, faster data transfer and hot swapping (the drives can be removed and replaced while the computer is on).  SATA drives started to become popular about 2009.  Now, most computers are coming equipped with them

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Answer Man - Alternative to Internet Explorer

Answer Man

I have all kinds of problems with  my Internet Explorer browser.  Any suggestions?

If you don't have the latest version of Explorer, you could download a new version.  You could also use another browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and many others.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Answer Man - Remembering Passwords

Answer Man

I have dozens of different passwords for different sites.  How can I remember them all?

The quick answer is that you can't unless you have a photographic memory. I suggest you obtain a password program that will remember all of them except a master password that you need to get into the program. One of the most highly recommended password storage programs is called Last Pass. You can get it at:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Answer Man - Laser printer toner

Answer Man

My laser printer is printing documents that are becoming lighter and lighter.  Must I replace the toner right away?

Toner cartridges can be shaken, like copier cartridges, and then re-inserted in the printer to yield  as many as 200 more copies. Be careful where you shake the cartridges. The toner gets on everything and is difficult to pick up.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Answer Man - Printing Envelopes

Answer Man

My handwriting is terrible. I'd like to have the printer print envelopes. How do I do it?

In the free program, Libre Office, you start the program and select Text Document. Then, click Insert and then Envelope. Select the picture that represents how your envelopes are inserted in the printer. Insert the envelope the way it shows on the screen and move the guides to correspond with the width of the envelope. Click New Document. Type the address and return address in the blanks provided. Print.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Answer Man - Saving Toner

Answer Man

I often print in draft mode with my ink jet printer. Is there a similar setting on laser printers?

The setting is generally called Toner Save. The print will be lighter, but that's okay if you are the only one reading the item.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Answer Man - Shortcut keys

Answer Man

I frequently want to perform a cut and paste by going to the Edit menu and choosing copy or paste. Frequently, I am on a page that has no Edit menu.  Can I still cut and paste?

You certainly can. You need to learn the keyboard shortcuts for the functions. You can see them any time you are on a page that has an Edit menu. But, here are a few of the common ones for the times when you don't see the Edit menu. Hold down the CTRL key and press C for copy. Hold down the CTRL key and press V to paste. CTRL and X cuts a selection. CTRL and A highlights all of the text.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Answer Man - Naked DSL

Answer Man

I have Century Link phone service and DSL broadband. I want to end the phone service but keep the DSL. Is that possible?

The situation you have asked about is called naked DSL. Most phone companies offer the service. All you have to do is type Naked DSL in quotes and then the name of your phone company in Google to find out how your company makes the arrangements and how much they charge.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Answer Man - Hard Drive out of space

Answer Man

My netbook showed a message that the hard drive was running out of room and it suggested that I had to delete some files to keep using the computer. What can I do?

You could of course uninstall some programs you are not using or delete some files. Hard drives become balky once they are more than about 85% full. Some netbooks, and most tablets use small solid state hard drives. They range from only 4 GB up. Inexpensive iPads have just 16 GB of hard drive capacity, while many entry level notebooks and desktop computers have 320 GB or more. So, your only other alternative is to put in a bigger capacity hard drive.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Answer Man - Free MP3 Tunes

Answer Man

Most music sites, like I Tunes, charge for each song a person downloads. How can I get music for free?

Don't try to get them on file sharing sites. That's illegal, and you could be be sent to jail for stealing. You can, however, copy tunes from CD's you own to your MP3 player as long as the songs are for your personal use and are not being broadcast in any way. Insert the CD's into the CD tray. Windows media player or a similar program will let you rip (copy) the CD tunes to your computer. Then, just copy the tunes to your MP3.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Answer Man - Skyline

Answer Man

A friend sent some photos to me in an attachment from something called Skyline. I can view them but can't forward them to anyone else. What's going on?

Skyline is a cloud computing application. You can look at what's there, but the photos are on Skylines server (computer) not on your computer. If the owner of the photos has granted permission, you can download the photos to your computer. Once you have done that, the photos can be edited, forwarded or deleted.

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Page Added

We've added a new page called Free Software. This page will contain various types of helpful software that you can download for free. Take a look .... just click the tab above.

Answer Man

Answer Man

Someone sent an attachment in an e-mail. When I click on it I get a message about buying Microsoft Office. What's going on?

Many computer manufacturers include trial versions of software. You can use those versions for a short time, and then the software maker wants to sell it to you. I suggest you click Start, Control Panel, Uninstall and then select Microsoft Office. After uninstalling Office, go to and download Libre Office. After it is downloaded and installed, the attachment will open in Libre Office rather than in Microsoft Office.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Answer Man - Wireless Printer

Answer Man

I just bought a new computer and a wireless printer.  The computer works fine, but the printer doesn't.  What do you suggest I do?  The Geek squad wants $155 just to come to my house.

A wireless printer must have a wireless network to work. If you are connected to high speed Internet, you already have a modem. However, for a wireless printer to work you must also have a device called a router.  Routers cost approximately $45. A wireless printer can be hooked up as a wired printer. Just plug it in to a USB port on the computer. Insert the CD that came with the printer into your computer's CD drive and then follow the instructions.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Answer Man - Online Free Coursework

Answer Man

Where can I find free college coursework? is a site for free on-line courses from universities around the world. They will not give you college credit, but they are completely free. Don't be confused by the site request for membership. You do not have to become a member. That's for corporations who want to donate. Just search for a course, download it and follow the requirements. Many courses are just like the for credit courses. They have exams.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Answer Man - File sharing sites

Answer Man

Are there any legal file sharing sites where I can see movies without charge?

All of the following sites are legal:  Big Five Glories, Cracker, Crackle, Hulu, Classic Cinemas online,You Tube, Steven Spielberg film and video archive, Internet Archive.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Answer Man - Computer overheating

Answer Man

I was told that I shouldn't operate my desktop computer in a cabinet with the cabinet door closed.  Is that true?

It is true?  Heat is a big enemy of computers. Closing the cabin door cuts off air circulation. The computer fans can't operate well if there is little intake of air.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Answer Man - Keyboard key sticks

Answer Man

One of the keys on my keyboard sticks.  Is there a solution?

Hewlett Packard suggests the following:

If a key is physically stuck in the down position, you might not have to replace the keyboard. Most keys can be easily removed by inserting a butter knife under the key and prying up. After the key has been removed, using a swab with alcohol, clean the underside of the key and the key's slot in the keyboard. Replace the key by snapping it back into place.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Answer Man - Lenovo

Answer Man

I want to buy a computer and saw the brand Lenovo.  Do you know anything about it?

Lenovo is a Chinese manufacturer that bought the rights to the IBM Thinkpad laptop. The brand is competitive with others on the market.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Answer Man - Cell phone use in accident

Answer Man

How might I best use a cell phone after an accident?

Well, of course you could use it to call 911 to get the police on their way. Then, I would use the built in digital camera to take lots of pictures should you have to prove anything to your insurance agency or the police.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Answer Man - Restore VS Recovery

Answer Man

What is the difference between computer restore and computer recovery?

Restore restores the computer to an earlier date that you select. Recovery changes the computer back to the way it was when you purchased it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Answer Man - What should I back up?

Answer Man

What files should I back up?

Well, there's no use backing up program files. If they get corrupted they have to be re-installed from the original disk. And, there's no use backing up the Windows operating system as you won't be able to copy that program. That leaves Documents, Photos and Downloads and perhaps contacts and favorites.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Answer Man - Search Box

Answer Man

I can't find msconfig that you always talk about.  Where is it?

If you are using Vista or Windows 7 you'll find a small white box labeled Search just above the Start. Type msconfig in the block and msconfig will show up a little higher above that window.

Learn to use the search box for whatever you want to find. Let's say that you know you took a picture that you labeled At the Chinese Wall. Type that phrase in the search box and the location of that photo will be indicated.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Google's new Tracking

For those of you that have been worried about the new Google “data collection” here’s a link where you can read for yourself what is being tracked and how that information is used. There are also links to help you minimize what Google can track.

Go to “” then the “How to” drop down and “web”.This will take you to a couple of articles regarding Googles’ new policy. I believe Cnet to be an impartial site with unbiased information.

Answer Man - Buying on-line

Answer Man

I know some people buy all kinds of things on line, but I'm afraid to use my cards that way.  Should I be?

I think that if you use common sense in using your cards that you won't get into trouble.  Deal with firms you have heard of. Don't give out your card information to someone who calls you.

I have used credit cards all over the world and have ordered dozens of items on line, and I have never run into difficulty.  If you have a problem, immediately notify the credit card issuer.

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