Friday, August 31, 2012

Gateway 503 Error

Answer Man

A Gateway 503 error keeps popping up on my computer. I can't seem to make any Internet connection. I'm using Juno dial-up service.

The error is not in your computer. It means the service is unable to connect for some reason. It appears to me that Juno has a problem. I suggest you dump Juno for a broadband (high speed) connection.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Web Cams

Answer Man

I want to buy a web cam for use on Skype.  What are my choices?

Web cams generally sell for $20 to $50. Resolutions are either 320 x 240 or 640 x 480. Thirty frames per second is typical. Special features such as pan, tilt and manual focus cost more. A glass lens costs more. Almost any web cam will be adequate if you just want your mug to be visible on Skype.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

File Folders

Answer Man

I would like to add some folders to my e-mail account so I can divide the mail into categories?

The method differs slightly from one e-mail program to another, but I'll show you how it is done in Yahoo Mail. Under Mail you will see the heading My Folders. Click on Add. Type in the name you'd like for the folder. Click OK.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Join The Web Team

There will be an introductory meeting for those who want to join the ORHA Web Team, Friday, Aug 31, at 3PM in the Orchid Club. Some computer experience is required. We need YOU to volunteer. For more information contact Ron at

Monitor Connections

Answer Man

I understand that monitor connections are changing. What's happening?

VGA connections have been standard for years. DVI and HDMI connections are becoming more common. DVI will give a sharper picture than VGA. VGA is analog while DVI is digital. HDMI will be useful if you plan to show Blue Ray movies.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Disadvantages of tablet computers

Answer Man

I am thinking of buying a tablet computer. What disadvantages do tablet computers have?

The screens are relatively small and therefore more difficult to read than say a 19" monitor. The internal keyboards are more difficult to use than a desktop keyboard. There is no built in DVD drive. Some tablets have no USB ports. The built in solid state drives will store much less information than mechanical hard drives.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Free Skype

Answer Man

How can I use Skype for free?  I want to call friends in Italy.

Skype is free to use if both the sender and receiver are using the Skype program.  Costs are only incurred when you have the program dial a phone number as opposed to connecting to another Skype user through the Internet.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cheap printer

Answer Man

I want to purchase a cheap printer. Any suggestions?

Good quality printers can be bought for as little as $30. The manufacturers make their money on ink, not on the printers. If you plan on doing only black and white printing, buy a laser printer ($90 or more) because toner is about 1/5th the cost of ink jet cartridges.

Friday, August 24, 2012

All-in-one printer

Answer Man

What is an all-in-one printer?

That term normally refers to a printer that is also a scanner, copier and perhaps a fax machine?

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Answer Man

I keep hearing the term router. What are routers used for and do I need one?

Routers are most often used when users have more than one computer. One computer may be wired directly to the router, and the other computer is used without any wired connection. If you have broadband (high speed interned through cable or your phone company) and don't need a wireless connection for a laptop or tablet, you won't need a router.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Answer Man

I plan to do some traveling and will need to use the Internet.  I don't want to incur any charges. How might I accomplish the task?

Wi-Fi is free at most McDonalds, Starbucks and many other retailers. Company personnel will gladly tell you how you can connect your computer to the respective systems. I have found that you can find Wi-Fi locations in most towns of 10,000 or more people.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recovering Programs

Answer Man

Is it true that if my computer crashes that I would have to re-install each program from the original disks?

You must either install from original disks or download the programs from the respective download sites. That can be a long and arduous task. I suggest that you make a list of all the programs you are using now, because you may not remember what they are after a crash. Left click on Start. Click on All Programs and then click on the first program. Navigate to the last program. Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and  left click on the last program. Click CTRL and the letter P on the keyboard to print the list of programs.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cheap Computer

Answer Man

I want to buy a used computer as I don't have much money. What are the minimum requirements I should look for in a cheap computer, and approximately what should it cost?

I suggest you look for a minimum of a dual core processor, 2 Gigabytes of RAM and a 320 Gigabyte hard drive. The machine should have a DVD writer. I have seen used computers with those specifications without a monitor for $65. You should be able to buy a used 17" monitor for $30 or $40.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Answer Man

I understand that there is a great program to help people solve cryptograms such as the Celebrity Cipher in the Star Banner. Do you know where I can find the program?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Re-size Photos

Answer Man

I often send pictures through e-mail. It is a pain to re-size each picture when I am sending many. Is there a better way?

Try freesizer You can drag and drop as many photos as you like to a box and then click Start Resizing. Your original photos are not changed. It's simple to use and free.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Removing Fonts

Answer Man

I have heard that one way to speed up my computer is by removing fonts I don't use.  How do I do that?

In Windows 7, click Start, Control Panel, Fonts.  In Windows Vista, click Start, Control Panel,  Appearance and Personalization, Fonts.  Left click on the font you don't need and then click Delete on the keyboard.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hybrid Drive

Answer Man

I recently heard about hybrid drives. What are they?

They are a marriage of conventional hard drives and solid state drives. OCZ makes one called the RevoDrive 1 TB Hybrid SSD on a desktop PCI-E card. It is considerably more expensive that traditional drives.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Computer Features

Answer Man

What new exciting computer features do you see coming down the pike?

Intel has announced their new Ivy Bridge processor which will ship with a new motherboard and USB 3.0. That should make the computers faster while using less power.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Better Tablet Computer

Answer Man

I have delayed in the purchase of a tablet computer because of the inferior internal keyboard. Is there a tablet computer with a better keyboard?

You can purchase fold-up keyboards, but I think a better alternative will be available soon. Asus has announced its Windows RT computer which is a tablet that will latch into a base so that the computer is a tablet when you want it, or a full fledged computer when you want that. The computer should be out by the end of 2012.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Clear Browser History

Answer Man

Other people use my computer.  Is there some way to clear the browser history so they don't know where I have been?

Each browser has a method to clear the browsing history. Navigate to the Tools menu and click Clear Browser History (or something similar, depending upon which browser you use).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Board Meeting Minutes - Correction

The August, 2012 ORCC Board Minutes listed an incorrect amount for the current balance in the Club's Treasury. The balance should have read: $1305.25. It's now been corrected.

Create a Link

Answer Man

I want to tell a friend about a great website I found. How do I go about creating a link to that website?

Navigate to the website. Click in the URL (address line). It should turn color. Press CTRL and C on the keyboard at the same time. Open your e-mail program and address a new e-mail to your friend. Left click the mouse in a blank spot in the body of the e-mail. Press CTRL and V on the keyboard at the same time. The link will be copied on to the e-mail. When your friend clicks on the link, she will be taken to the website.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Desktop Icons

Answer Man

What icons do you believe are most important to have on the desktop?

I suggest a minimum of My Documents, Computer, Recycle Bin and one or two browser icons.  To create an icon for these you need only right click on the term (such as My Documents) and then click Show on Desktop.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Board Meeting Minutes - August, 2012

Minutes of ORCC Executive Board Meeting – August 10, 2012

In attendance: Bob Leiner, John Baccoli, Frazer Crane, Elliott Bogart, Laura Stein, Lawrence Bauer, Jim Dillman, Alan Marcus, Ron Kenyon

The meeting was called to order by Vice President, Bob Leiner. Laura Stein read the Treasurer's Report. The balance on hand is $1305.25. President, Alan Marcus, who arrived late, took over the meeting at approximately 9:10 AM.

Elliott Bogart said that he thought installing handles on the new storage cart was a poor idea as it might make it easier to tip the cart. He distributed keys for the lock on the new cart. All of the old contents of the former cart was removed by Bob Leiner and Alan Marcus.

Alan Marcus moved, and Jim Dillman seconded a motion to start the auction of the 4 old club computers at $35.00 each. The motion was approved.

The group unanimously approved a suggestion to award 6 gift cards at the December meeting, and to abandon the idea of imprinted giveaways. Alan Marcus and Bob Leiner discussed some of the features of the Windows 8 Release Preview. Alan will attempt to install Windows 8 on one of the old club computers and demonstrate Windows 8 at the meeting. Then, that computer will be auctioned along with the others.

Alan Marcus will stress the need for interns for officer positions at the August meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Alan Marcus
Acting Secretary


Answer Man

I just heard about a computer called Chromebook and put out by Google. Can you tell me anything about it?

Chromebooks are solid state drive computers that boot within 10 seconds. They connect with the cloud and back up to the cloud. They have built in security. They don't slow down over time. The prices start at $299. Current makers are Acer and Samsung. They use Intel chips. You can buy them at Best Buy, Amazon and Tiger Direct.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Free Programs

Answer Man

I know that you are a fan of free computer programs. Are there some you particularly like?

Yes. For anti-virus you might use AVG Free edition, Avast, Microsoft Security Essentials. A great office suite is Libre Office. For malware - Malware Bytes. For print capture - Gadwin Print Screen. For registry cleaning Auslogics. For a Browser - Google Chrome. For computer clean-up Ccleaner. For CD writing - CDburnerXP.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

D Drive

Answer Man

When I click on My Computer I see a D drive. What is the D drive?

Years ago, computer manufacturers gave you CDs containing copies of Windows so you could use them to re-install the operating system if you had to. In an effort to save money, they now divide hard drives into 2 blocks or partitions. The D drive is a small partition on your hard drive that contains what used to be in the disks the manufacturers gave you. When you encounter a major problem with your computer, the operating system can be retrieved from the D partition.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Control Panel Location

Answer Man

Where did the Control Panel go in Windows 8:

They hid it under Desktop. Click the Windows Explorer Folder on the Quick Launch Bar (Bottom left of the screen). Click Desktop. There you will find the Control Panel.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Power Settings

Answer Man

My screen goes blank after a few minutes.  I have to press a key to have it come back on.  How can I prevent that from happening?

Click Start, Control Panel, Screen Saver and lengthen the time before the screen saver comes on, or change the Control Panel power settings to never shut down.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Windows 8 Password

Answer Man

Is there a way I can avoid the need for a password log-in in Windows 8?

Start Windows 8 and log in to your account.

Now you will be taken to the MetroUI start screen. Hit "WIN + R" or goto search from the new Start Menu. Type "netplwiz" in the search bar and hit Enter to open User Accounts screen.

Now you should uncheck "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" check box and click the OK button.

Now you will get a prompt where you have to enter the password for the user name. Enter the password and password confirmation.

Windows 8 will save this password and you need not enter the password any more during login. So the next time your system starts or reboots, you will be directly logged into the system without any need to enter the password.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Buy new Computer Now?

Answer Man

I need a new computer.  I would like it to have Windows 8, but if I buy now it will have Windows 7.  What should I do?

If you buy a computer with Windows 7 now, Microsoft will let you upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.95.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Answer Man

I'm scared to death of picking up a computer virus.  How can I avoid getting one?

Don't open any e-mail unless you know who sent it and feel that they are generally reliable. Be wary of e-mail attachments. Don't open e-mails that have poor spelling (often from Nigeria) or that promise to give you something free or too cheap to be true. Don't download anything unless it comes from a trusted source.

Even after taking all these preventative measures, you can still encounter malware of all kinds.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Registry Cleaner

Answer Man

Can you suggest a good registry cleaner?

You can get into real trouble using registry cleaners. However, I think the following cleaner does a good job, and I have never gotten into trouble using it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Replacement Operating System

Answer Man

I accidentally wiped out everything on my computer. There's not even an operating system. I don't have the XP disks, nor do I have any kind of recovery disk. What can I do?

Since it is an old machine (using XP), I wouldn't bother paying for a new operating system. I suggest you download Ubuntu, or Joli Cloud, both of which are free.

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