Friday, November 30, 2012

Content Creation

Answer Man

I frequently see a comment stating that some kinds of computers are not good for content creation? What does that mean?

Content creation refers to the use of word processing, spreadsheets, data bases, presentations, etc. in which the user is creating documents more complex than simple text messages and e-mails.

Tablet computers are generally not viewed as being good for content creation because they have only virtual or abbreviated keyboards and they are extremely limited in hard drive space. If you were writing a book, you'd need a computer with much greater capability than most tablet computers have.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Windows 8 Scrolling

Answer Man

I know you can scroll quickly in Windows 8 if you have a touch screen. What do you do if you don't have a touch screen?

You can turn the scroll wheel on the mouse to scroll horizontally. You can also move the mouse from side to side.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Linux Mint

Answer Man

I heard about an operating system called Linux Mint. Can you tell me anything about it?

Linux Mint is open source softwared based on Ubuntu. Mint is the 4th most popular operating system available. The top 3 are Microsoft, Apple and Ubuntu systems. All editions of Mint are named after females. The latest edition is called Maya. Mint includes many programs such as Libre Office. The operating system works well on netbooks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Windows 8 Charm

Answer Man

The new Windows 8 charms are difficult to get to with a mouse. Is there a keyboard shortcut for the purpose?

Press the Windows key on the keyboard and the letter C at the same time. The charms menu will appear.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Copy Screensaver

Answer Man

I had a neat screensaver on an old computer. I'd like to transfer it to a new computer that has a newer operating system. Can I do it?

Do a search on the old computer by looking for files with the extension .scr. Find the name of the file you want to transfer and copy that file. Paste the file into the scr location on the new computer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Answer Man

I tried to run a screensaver. The preview works, but the screensaver does not turn on automatically. What's wrong?

I have experienced that problem. As soon as I ran the latest Microsoft update the problem was rectified.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Oak Run Computer Club Holiday Party

The Oak Run Computer Club Holiday Party will be held on Wednesday, Dec 19th, in the Orchid Club at 9:00 AM. This Holiday Party is only for members that are current with their dues. Refreshments will be provided. That is, coffee by the ORHA, the club will buy an assortment of mixed bagels and cream cheese with an assortment of doughnuts from the local bakery of Publix.

The average attendance for the last six months has been 57. To round it off to an even dozen, we will purchase 5 units to equal 60. Since bagels seem more popular, we will purchase 3 units of bagels, and balance out the difference in doughnuts. For tea drinkers, we will have tea bags and hot water - if that is provided by ORHA.

Your Party Planner - Frazer

Windows 8

Answer Man

I have Windows 7. Would I gain anything by installing Windows 8?

The main advantage would be speed. Windows 8 is 33% faster than Windows 7.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Answer Man

I just bought a Garmin GPS for  $88  that includes lifetime updates. I opened the package and there are no directions. There is just a website and a bunch of ads. What do I do now?

Unfortunately, Garmin made a big mistake by not including instructions. People who are computer illiterates will have a difficult time. Here are the steps to make the gadget work.  Attach the unit to the computer by using the included USB cable. Type in the web address for the life-time updater. Select the download maps option. It may take up to 2 hours to download the maps to the device. Unplug the USB cable. When the download is complete, push the on-off button on the device to turn the unit on. You're now good to go.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Windows 8 Start Menu

Answer Man

I understand that there is no start menu in Windows 8. Is that true?

Many people are saying that, but it isn't true. The start menu is just different. In Windows 7 and Vista users clicked on the globe icon in the lower left of the screen and then clicked on the next item of their choice. In Windows 8 users see a series of tiles. The tiles are the start menu. Users simply click on the tile of their choice, let's say it is one labeled weather. Users are taken directly to the weather page.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Windows 8 Editions

Answer Man

Can you tell me about the various Windows 8 editions?

Windows 8 is available in just 4 editions. Window 8, sometimes called basic; Windows Pro, which has a few added features; Windows RT which only works with ARM processors and with limited applications; Windows Enterprise, meant for businesses (permits volume licensing).  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Answer Man

I don't understand the differences between an operating system and a browser. Can you explain those differences?

In general, the operating system is the first layer of software loaded into computer memory when it starts up. As the first software layer, all other software that gets loaded after it depends on this software to provide them with various common core services. Examples include Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, Linux and Mac OS.

Browser, short for Web browser, is a software application used to locate, retrieve and also display content on the World Wide Web, including Web pages, images, video and other files. Examples include Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Compressed Files

Answer Man

I recently received a file that doesn't open. It ends in a .zip extension. How do I open it?

The zip extension means that the file has been compressed or zipped. To open it, you need a program that will un-zip the file or decompress it. There are many unzip programs on the web. Here's one of those programs that you might try.

Executive Board Minutes - November 16, 2012

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

Secretary’s report read by Carol Norton. No corrections or additions necessary. 
Laura Stein, Treasurer, reported a balance of $1,330.62.                       .

Ron Kenyon will present a tour of the Club’s website, with instructions how to join, post, and comment at the general meeting on November 21. Members are encouraged to bring a laptop in order to set up an account and practice using the website. 

The Oak Run Computer Club Holiday Party will be held at the December 19 general meeting, with coffee, donuts, bagels and cream cheese being provided. Alan Marcus  installed Windows 8 on the club’s computer and will give a short presentation on the new software.

Motion was made by Bob Leiner, seconded by Ron Kenyon, and approved to purchase 15 collapsible flash drives, 10 to be given out at the December 19 Holiday Party, with the remaining five to be given away from the club’s website. Bill Balch accepted responsibility for purchasing the flash drives. The continuation of raffling Wal-Mart gift cards to members was also approved.

The meeting adjourned at 10:05 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H. Norton                                    

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Print Screen Program

Answer Man

I know the Print Screen key on the keyboard will save a screen to the clipboard so that I can copy what's on the screen and print the page. Is there a way for me to select just a portion of the page rather than the whole thing?

I recently discovered a program called Screen Captor that will do just what you want from a print screen program. It's very powerful, but basic functions are easy to use. Find the program at the following link:

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Answer Man

Is there a quick way to scroll horizontally?

Yes there is. Hold down the shift key on the keyboard as you move the scroll wheel on the mouse.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Screen Saver

Answer Man

I re-installed Windows and now my screen saver won't turn on. Any suggestions?

If you have a wireless keyboard and mouse, you might have to install the software that comes with them before the screen saver will work. You can also change the amount of time before the screen saver starts.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Answer Man

I hear everyone talking about routers. Do I need one?

Routers are primarily used to provide wireless connectivity or WiFi in your home. Let us suppose that you want to be able to use a laptop computer while sitting in your easy chair without any wired connections. Then you would need a wireless router. If you have only one wired computer, you don't need a router.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ISO Files

Answer Man

I have a netbook that doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. I want to put Windows 8 on the hard drive, but all the downloads say that they are ISO files. What is an ISO file and what do you do with it?

An ISO file is an image that must be burned on a CD or DVD. It requires software that will burn ISO images. You can use a free download called Windows 7 USB/DVD (available from Microsoft) to write the ISO to a flash drive. Then, insert the flash drive into the netbook and re-boot the computer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Windows 8

Answer Man

What do you think about Windows 8 now that the release preview has been out for awhile?

I like it. It is faster than Windows 7 and seems reliable. I am not too fond of the so called metro interface which is a bunch of tiles or apps that update themselves, but once you get beyond that interface the system works much like Windows 7. Perhaps the worst part of the operating system is the way you have to shut the system down, but that could change as Microsoft modifies the program.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Split Screen

Microsoft's Surface tablet computer may have some issues. Dick Eastman writes a genealogy newsletter and has an interesting article. Click on "Split Screen" and read it for yourself.

Cellphones And Tablets Are Great For ......

...... Sharing Photos And Bacteria!

We love our smart phones and tablets a lot. But the next time you take your phone to lunch, hand it to a coworker to share photos, or bring it to the gym, consider this, bacteria from a phone can cause flu, pinkeye or diarrhea. Yuck. 

People are just as likely to get sick from their phones as from handles of the bathroom. That's according to a physician interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about the hazards of taking your cell phone everywhere, and then passing it to friends to share an image or message. You don't have to be a germophobe to dread that bit of news. 

A lab tested eight randomly selected phones from a Chicago office and all phones showed abnormally high numbers of coliforms, a bacteria that indicates fecal contamination. Of the eight phones tested, there were between 2,700 and 4,200 units of coliform bacteria. In drinking water, the limit is less than 1 unit per 100 ml of water.

The tricky part? Most household cleaners and disinfectants can harm your phone's screen or case. The WSJ has the full report and some suggestions for avoiding the worst of it. Worth a read as we enter the flu season.

Credit:, October 25, 2012


Answer Man

I bought a new Netgear Router just 3 months ago. Recently, I find that every day I have to uplug and then plug in the router to make it work. What should I do?

It sounds to me as if the router has failed. I would call the manufacturer for a replacement. In recent weeks, I have heard from several people who have experienced router failures. I guess things are not being made as well as they were a few years ago.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

All In One Computer

Answer Man

I'm considering buying one of those all-in-one computers. What's your take on them?

The advantage is that you eliminate some wires and the computer takes up less real-estate. The disadvantages are the slightly higher cost and if one component, such as the monitor, goes south, you have to replace the entire set-up. Of course that is also true in purchasing a lap top computer.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Flash Drives

Answer Man

What should I look for when purchasing a flash drive?

Considerations include: Price, storage capacity and design. I would not purchase one that has a separate cap. It's too easy to lose.  I like the type that fold like a pocket knife. Currently, you can buy a 16 GB folding flash drive from Lexar in the $10 to $12 range.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Solid State Drives

Answer Man

I am planning to buy a new computer. Some come with solid state drives (SSDs). What do you think of SSDs?

The advantages are that they are faster, lighter and more durable than drives with moving parts. The disadvantage of owning them is the cost. Although prices are coming down, you currently have to pay roughly $1.00 per gigabyte of storage. Thus, a 128 gig drive would be about $130. The new, expensive, ultra books have SSDs.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cleaning Monitor Screen

Answer Man

What can I use to clean my monitor screen?

I use either a microfiber cloth or Zeiss Len's Cloths (meant for eyeglasses) that you can buy at Wal-mart or Sam's Club. You can use any soft dampened cloth if you don't saturate the cloth and rub gently. I would avoid using paper towels or any material that is abrasive.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Computer Shut Down

Answer Man

Is it ever OK to shut down the computer by using the on/off button rather than by going through the start menu?

You shouldn't shut down the computer that way unless you have no choice. If the normal way doesn't work, try pressing CTRL, ALT and DEL keys all at the same time. Then click shut down. If that doesn't work, you have no choice. Hold in the on/off button for approximately 8 seconds. When you restart the computer it should start in normal mode. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Answer Man

Every once and a while I encounter sites that want me to write down a weird code of slanted and jumbled letters. I find them impossible to read. Why do they use those things?

You are referring to Captchas.  They were designed to foil computer spammers and scammers. The Captchas can't be easily interpreted by computers, while humans have little or no trouble interpreting them.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

QR Codes

Answer Man

Can you tell me anything about those new bar codes you see in the papers. I know you need a smart phone to read them. I don't have a smart phone. Is there any other way to read them?

You are referring to a new two dimensional bar code system. The codes are called QR for quick response. They were invented by a subsidiary of Toyota for automotive inventory purposes. You can read them without a smart phone by downloading apps to your computer. Click on the following link, unzip the application and install it. Center the code in the window of the app and decode it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

PDF Attachments

Answer Man

Is there something wrong with my computer? I can't open attachments that say PDF at the end.

PDF (portable document files) are files designed to be opened by any computer. They can be opened on a PC, a MAC and on Linux based computers.  However, you must have PDF reader software installed on your computer in order to open the files. The most popular reader is Adobe. There are many other readers on the market, and programs such as Libre Office (known as converters)  will open them

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Can't get into My e-mail

Answer Man

I have used Hotmail for years, but I guess something is wrong with my computer because none of the e-mails will open. What's wrong?

Many users don't realize that e-mail providers can have computer problems that don't really differ from those experienced by home users. All of the providers experience down time, and often they shut down their computers for maintenance. I suggest you wait a day or maybe even two and then try the e-mail again. If you still experience problems, it could be a problem with your browser or computer, but I'm willing to bet that your e-mail provider is having problems and that the situation will soon be rectified.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Recovery Problems

Answer Man

I had all kinds of problems with my computer, so I did a complete recovery.  Now, when I click on Internet Explorer, I can't open many sites that I could access before.  What's wrong?

When you perform a recovery, the computer reverts to the way it was when it was new.  That means that you have installed an old version of the browser which may or may not work with current applications.  Try updating the browser to the latest version your computer will accept or download another browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Answer Man

What is a database and how is one used?

A database is stored information that is divided into a series of categories called fields. Let's suppose that we created a database that contained information about Oak Run residents that included the following fields:
First Name, Last Name, Address, Neighborhood, Phone #, Age of residents, Marriage Status and State of Origin. Now, let us suppose we wanted to form a singles club in a particular neighborhood for residents from Pennsylvania. We would perform a query that reads, Give me all the residents who are single, live in the Fountains, are from Pennsylvania and are under age 60. A list containing only that information would be returned.

For Your Information

Posts are presented in a stack with the most recent post at the top. Clicking Older Posts will show the next # older posts and so forth. Clicking Newer Posts will show the previous # newer posts. Clicking Home will display the top # most recent posts. When viewing a single post, clicking Older Post or Newer Post shows a single post each time, but, clicking Home displays the top # most recent posts. There are 2,754 posts in the stack as of 4-27-18.