Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spreadsheets

Answer Man

You often talk about the free program called Libre Office. I know that it is a suite of programs and one of those programs is a spreadsheet program. What are spreadsheets used for, and do I need one?

Spreadsheets are commonly used by CPAs for a variety of uses including company payrolls. Their real forte' is in doing many calculations quickly. However, you can find some nifty personal uses such as tallying your golf league's scores, quickly creating and organizing an address book or creating a simple travel itinerary. The data sort function will instantly alphabetize any list you enter.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Infrared Repeaters

Answer Man

I access the Internet via Smart TV, but many of the devices I use, such as the receiver for sound, are behind dark black glass doors. I hate to have to open the doors so the remotes will work. Is there a way around this problem?

Yes, you can use a device called an infrared repeater. It's an inexpensive device that has a sensor in clean view. The sensor is connected to a small box that repeats the remote signals for several devices. I bought one for approximately $20, including shipping, from Monoprice monoprice.com that includes enough sensors to control 8 distinct pieces of equipment.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

TV Internet Access

Answer Man

I know some people can access the Internet through their TV. How is that possible?

New TV sets, known as Smart TVs, can connect to the Internet if the house already has a broadband connection. If the home has a router, the user can browse from the TV wirelessly.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

No Internet Connection

Answer Man

I'm a snowbird, so I don't want to have to pay for an Internet connection in Oak Run. Where can I use the Internet for free?

Freedom Library provides both the computers and the Internet connection. If you have a laptop computer, netbook or tablet, you can connect at a Wi-Fi hot spot such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New Computer

Answer Man

I am thinking of buying a new computer, but prices and specs run all over the place. How do I decide what to get?

If you are an avid gamer or do a lot with video editing you need a high powered computer with lots of memory, a large hard drive and a powerful separate video card. If you are not, you can usually get by with minimal requirements. A 320 GB hard drive should be large enough, 2 to 4 GB of memory should be fine, and an integrated video card is OK.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Speed Test

Answer Man

Is there a good way to find out if my Internet provider is giving me the speed I paid for?

Sure! Here are a couple of sites where you can check the speed:

http://reviews.cnet.com/internet-speed-test/   and   speakeasy.net

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Drawing Programs

Answer Man

I am planning on buying a new TV and surround system. There are so many cables and connections that I want to plan out how to connect them before I actually do the job. Can you suggest a good way to make my diagram?


The Libre Office drawing program is very easy to use, and best of all, it's free. You simply click on boxes and drag to enlarge them on the screen. Then, connect them with lines representing the cables and enter some text. I did that before I got my stereo system, and it saved lots of time. Now I have a record if I should ever have to make changes. Find Libre Office at:  libreoffice.org.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Compressed Files

Answer Man

I've sent you some picture files that I can't open, and I can't understand why. Can you tell me what the problem is?

If you run your mouse over the files, they are normal jpeg or jpg compressed picture files. Normally, they would open with most photo viewer programs. However, whoever sent them to you decided to compress the folder they were in, in what are called Zip files. When you run a mouse over the folder, the word Zip appears. The folder has to be un-zipped with one of the many un-zip utilities. Then, you can print the pictures.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Facebook Spam

Answer Man

My e-mail is being flooded with some type of spam from Facebook. What can I do about the problem?

Most e-mail providers have a way you can use to identify spam and have it directed to a spam folder which you can delete or preview and delete. Look on your e-mail site under spam to find out how your provider handles the problem.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Security

The Kim Komando Show
Last week, I warned you about a dangerous scam email with the subject line "CNN Breaking News -- Mitt Romney Almost President."

Well, this week 3 new scam emails have appeared that are just as dangerous. Clicking on the links in these emails can take you to Canadian online pharmacy sites or sites that can take control of your computer.


Email isn't the only way scammers try to trick you. Visit my site to learn how to spot scams in text messages, on job sites and on dating sites. You'll be glad you did!

You can be in danger from hackers, scammers and thieves even when you aren't on the Internet. My store has plenty of items that can keep you safe. From IP security cameras to RFID-blocking wallets, I bring you the best products for your protection. Click here to start shopping. New security threats can appear daily. Don't find out about them too late. Sign up for my daily email newsletters so you know exactly what is going on.

I also post regular security updates on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Like my Facebook page and Follow me on Twitter so you're always informed. Reminder, I'm live in the studio Saturday morning, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Pacific time ready to take your questions. My toll-free number is 1-888-825-5254. So join me for the show! Click here to find the radio station nearest you.

Have a safe and fun weekend!

DVD writer failure

Answer Man

I know you like CDwriterxp to burn CDs and DVDs, but I used the program in a new computer and it won't recognize the burner hardware. What now?

You are correct. Some software does not seem to get along with some burners. Here's an alternative program that may correct your problem: Ashampoo, ashampoo.com. Navigate to Downloads and look for ashampoo burning studio 6.  It's free.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Toolbars

Answer Man

I've been on some sites such as Ask.com, and without thinking, I checked a box that said install an Ask toolbar. Unfortunately, I've done the same thing with other sites and now have several toolbars taking up space. Can I get rid of them?

Right click in the bar near the top of the screen. Click Toolbars and then un-check the ones you don't want. You are really better off with no toolbars as they track your movements and slow down your computer.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Multi-cartridge printers

Answer Man

I am about to purchase a printer. I see some have many print cartridges of differing colors and others have just two. Is one type better than the other?

Multi-cartridge printers have the advantage that if just one color quits, you can replace just that cartridge. The disadvantage is that the small cartridges don't hold much ink and have to be replaced frequently. Printers with 6 or 7 cartridges are generally better in color registration and are used by professionals.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini SD Card

Answer Man

My Kodak digital camera uses little tiny flash cards to store the pictures. How do I get them off the card and into my computer?

The mini SD cards slide into holders that can be placed in computers and printers. However, you can download pictures from your Kodak via USB cable connected to the computer. After making the connection, turn on the camera. A pop-up notice will appear on the screen. Follow the directions in the pop-up to save the pictures to the computer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Executive Board Minutes - October 12, 2012

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Members in attendance: Elliott Bogart, Jim Dillman, Bob Leiner, Laura Stein, and Carol Norton. Guests in attendance: Bill Balch, Bob Norton and Laura Tingley.

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

Laura Stein, Treasurer, reported a balance of $1,301.26.

Board meetings for 2013 will be held in the Island Club on the second Friday of each month thus freeing the room on remaining Fridays for other clubs/activities.

A slate of officers was presented for Year 2013:

President – Alan Marcus
Vice President – Bob Leiner
Secretary – Carol Norton
Treasurer – Laura Stein; backup Bob Norton
Publicity – Linda Tingley
Bill Balch (Where Needed)

Nominations will also be accepted at the General Meeting on October 17.

Dennis Rubacha, Event Coordinator for Verizon, will be the presenter at the October 17 general meeting. Topic to be discussed, “What Smart Phones Can Do.” A Kindle e-reader will be given out at this meeting.

Upcoming Programs: Nov 21 – Ron Kenyon will present a tour of the Club’s website, with instructions how to join, post, and comment. Members are encouraged to bring a laptop in order to set up an account and practice using the website. Dec 19 – Holiday Party and program on Windows 8.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H. Norton
Secretary

Dedicated Photo Printer

Answer Man

I want to print a bunch of photos. Do you see any advantage in buying dedicated photo printers such as the HP Photosmart line?

The dedicated photo printers are generally made for just one purpose, and they therefore make the printers simple to use for that purpose. The paper slot is normally 4" x 6" to take pre-cut photo paper. When you insert a flash card, a slide show appears and you can print one or many pictures. The main disadvantage is that you will probably need another printer to print documents.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Saving e-mails

Answer Man

There are several hundred e-mails in my Yahoo mail folders. How can I save them to a flash drive?

The short answer is that you can't without great difficulty. You see Yahoo is web-based email. That means all your e-mails are actually on Yahoo's computers (servers). You just have links to that mail. If you want to go to a lot of work, you can open each e-mail, highlight the message and copy it to Microsoft Word or some other word processor and then save the Word file. Several hundred messages will take a long time. Are you sure you want copies of your e-mails?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Keyboard Shortcuts

Answer Man

Is there a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts for common commands such as copy or paste?

Here is a list of all keyboard shortcuts: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/keyboard-shortcuts

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What is spoofing?

Answer Man

What is spoofing?

Spoofing is assuming someone's e-mail address and pretending to be be that person. It is the hijacking of an e-mail account. It may be harmless, or it might be a way to gain control of someone's computer or to acquire a list of names and e-mail addresses. My computer was spoofed a few months ago and a false ad for some diet drug was sent out to many people in my contact list. If such a thing happens to you, immediately change your e-mail password.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Security Threat

This notice was just published on Kim Komando

****IMPORTANT SECURITY ALERT****

There's a dangerous phishing email going around with the subject line: "CNN Breaking News -- Mitt Romney Almost President."

If you receive this email, I recommend you delete the email immediately!

Inside the email are legitimate-looking links that will take you to a malicious website. This site will put a virus on your computer that leaves it wide open for hackers. They can steal your information, including online passwords and financial data.

This is a good reminder to be cautious when opening unsolicited email, especially one containing links. If you have doubts about an email, visit the site referenced in the email manually instead of clicking the links in the email.

This malicious email isn't the only threat out there, so it's also a good idea to have up-to-date security software installed. You can find great, free security software on my site at this address:  http://www.komando.com/securitycenter/

Stay on your guard and have a fantastic weekend!

Icon won't go away

Answer Man

I uninstalled a program I no longer want, but the icon wouldn't go away. When I right click on the icon to delete it I get a message that it can't find the file. How do I get rid of the darn icon?

Re-start the computer and the icon will magically disappear.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Piano Chord Finder

Answer Man

I am learning to play piano and wonder if there is any good free chord finder on the Internet.

Try Chord Finder Lite at the following address. I think it is one terrific program.

http://www.sharewareconnection.com/software.php?list=Fast+Chords+Lite

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sudoku

Answer Man

Some time ago you mentioned a sudoku game that could be downloaded to the computer. Where can I find the site?

Try http://www.angusj.com/sudoku/. This version will allow you to see the candidates (possibilities) and you can print puzzles for later.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Removing Folders

Answer Man

How do I remove folders or files?

Right click the mouse on the folder. Left click on Delete. Left click on Yes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Battery Life

Answer Man

How long should the battery in a laptop last?

If you are talking about how long a charge should last you will find a great variance from battery to battery. Some of the new laptops claim a 6 hour life. If you are talking about years, that also varies. I have seen batteries last anywhere from 1 year to 6 years, but all of them will last for fewer and fewer hours over the years until they finally die.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rename Folder

Answer Man

How can I rename a photo, folder or file?

Right click the mouse on the item. Click rename. Type the new name and press the Enter key on the keyboard.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Transfer Photos

Answer Man

I bought a new digital camera but am not sure I understand how to transfer the pictures from my camera to my computer. How's it done?

There are three methods. You can use a USB cable that comes with the camera. The small end of the cable plugs into the camera and the other end in the USB port of the computer. When you turn on the camera, a folder will appear with several options. One is to open the folder containing the pictures. Once you see the pictures, you can save them to your computer. The other methods include removing the picture card from the camera and inserting it in the card slot in the computer. Some cameras come with a docking station that will automatically transfer the pictures.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Read e-books on PC

Answer Man

E-readers on the market have tiny screens. My eyesight isn't very good. Any suggestions?

Most e-readers have an option to enlarge print greatly. That, of course, means that there are fewer words per page. You can also download e-reading software to a laptop or PC and would therefore have a much larger screen to read. Do a search for Calibre http://calibre-ebook.com/ or Kindle for PC http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000426311&tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=7442400567&ref=pd_sl_6g97entshf_b

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

E-books from Library

Answer Man

How do I check out e-books from Freedom Library?

Click on the following link: http://marioncountyfl.org/Library/Library_default.aspx. Click on E-books. Select the books you want. Enter your card number and pin, and follow directions.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Password Manager

Answer Man
The computer club recently had a speaker who mentioned a password manager program. Do you recall the name of the program?

Yes, it's Last Pass lastpass.com.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Credit Card Safety

Answer Man

Is it wise to use credit cards when ordering on the Internet?

It's quite safe if you follow sensible precautions. Only order if you call up the website and initiate the order. Only use sites whose reputation you know or are referred to by people you trust. I have ordered dozens of items and have never incurred a problem.

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