Saturday, August 31, 2013

Boot Sequence

Answer Man

I would like to install a new operating system. I now have XP. I have been told that I must put the Windows 7 disk in the DVD drive and re-boot the computer. When I do, the DVD is skipped and the computer boots to XP. What am I doing wrong?

You must tell the BIOS the boot sequence you want. When you start the computer in XP, the screen should have a notation regarding which key you must push to get into the BIOS. The key varies from computer to computer. It might be DEL, or F2 or F10 or something else. The BIOS screen will have a section called boot sequence. You need to follow the on-screen directions to make the DVD drive boot first. Save the settings and re-boot your computer. Windows 7 will start the installation process.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Video Streaming

Answer Man

I have been thinking about subscribing to one of the video services like Netflix, but I'm not certain that I would like the service. I don't want to give them my credit card number, because it may be difficult to get out of the service if I don't like it. Any suggestions?

Vudu, a pay per view site, will let you view 10 free videos if you give them just your name and e-mail address. That might give you some indication as to the quality of on-line streaming services.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

HDMI source

Answer Man

HDMI cables at local stores seem to be priced out of sight. Do you know of an inexpensive source? is a good source for inexpensive cables.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

USB port shortage

Answer Man

My old laptop only has 2 USB ports. I need 4 for all of my devices. What can I do?

Purchase a USB hub. Hubs are available that will provide varying number of ports. You should purchase a 4 port hub. After you plug it in, 5 ports will be available for your use.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Coffee spill

Answer Man

I spilled coffee on my laptop keyboard. Now, nothing works. Is my computer shot?

If the coffee got under the keyboard and shorted some components, the computer may be seriously damaged. Most often, however, a replacement keyboard will solve the problem. Many laptop keyboards are available for as little as $15. There are many YouTube videos that can show you how to replace the keyboard.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tablet keys hard to push

Answer Man

I have a new tablet computer. The virtual keyboard is too small, or my fingers are too big. Whenever I try to type, I tend to hit the wrong key or several keys at once. Do you have any suggestions?

I have the same problem. The answer is to purchase a stylus. It's a pencil-like device that makes it easy to select just one key. The devices vary greatly in cost, but I think you can buy a suitable one for $15 to $20.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Computer running hot

Answer Man

My laptop computer seems to be running very hot. Is there anything I can do short of taking it in for repairs?

Check to see if the fan is running. If it is not running, shut down the computer immediately. A new fan may solve the problem. If the fan is making a lot of noise, it's a strong indication that the fan will soon fail and your computer will overheat. A desktop computer may have several fans. If you feel competent, open the case and look at all of the fans. Replacement fans are inexpensive, but may be difficult to install.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Libreoffice file save extensions

Answer Man

I use LibreOffice Writer, and it works well, but I want to send a LibreOffice document to several friends. I notice that when I click Save, there's a drop down menu with about 10 extensions. Which should I choose?

If you are choosing a format and extension just for yourself, choose the default .odt. If you are saving for others, who may not have LibreOffice, choose either the .doc (which word users can open), or click on file and save the document as a pdf. Even Apple users can open pdf files.

Friday, August 23, 2013

sleep vs. hibernate

Answer Man

Please explain what sleep and hibernate mean.

Many computer users feel that computers take too long to start up and therefore could be left on all of the time. However, leaving a computer on all of the time uses more electricity than shutting the computer off. The sleep mode is a compromise. Much less power is used, and data is kept in the memory, so the machine can re-start quickly. If the power should go off, all data is lost.

In hibernate mode, data is stored on the slower hard drive, no power is used, but the machine takes longer to boot. If the power goes off, nothing is lost.

There is a new hybrid mode that stores info in memory and on the hard drive. The machine normally starts quickly from sleep, and if power is lost, the machine switches over to the hard drive, boots slowly, but retains the data.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Can't access my e-mail

Answer Man

I let my good friend, Michael, use my computer to access his Yahoo email. Now, whenever I go to get my mail, I see his. How do I get to my account?

If another person is logged in to your account, his mail will continue to show up until you log him out and log yourself in. In Yahoo mail, click on his name at the top right of the email screen. You'll see log out. Then log in with your login name and password.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Copying a web page

Answer Man

I want to copy a web page that has both text and several small images and paste the copy into a PowerPoint presentation. I've tried everything I can, but nothing works.

The secret is to hold down the ALT key as you press the Print Screen button. The entire web page will be copied to the clipboard. You won't see it, but it will be there.  You can then do an edit, copy command or just press CTRL and V at the same time to paste the image into your presentation slide.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mouse with Surface RT

Answer Man

I just bought a Microsoft Surface RT tablet. I'm finding the touch screen difficult to use. Can I use a mouse with RT instead or in conjunction with the touch feature?

You certainly can. If you are like me, you'll find that some touch screen features are great and some leave much to be desired. I think the pinch or stretch feature is great for enlarging text and pictures. The tap feature often opens something I don't want open. I rarely make a mistake using a mouse. I suggest you use a very small wireless mouse so that you maintain the portable aspects of the Surface.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Slow Computer

Answer Man

My 5 year old XP computer is very slow. Can you tell me why?

A computer will slow down for a variety of reasons. Here are some of them: Too many items in the start menu, an accumulation of temporary files, viruses, the computer has never been defragmented, the hard drive is close to full and some of the memory has failed.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Answer Man

You once mentioned a desktop shortcut that could be used to instantly shutdown a computer. Would you repeat how to create such a shortcut?

Right click on the desktop. Select New and Shortcut. In the blank space, type shutdown.exe -s -t 00. Click Next. Give your new shortcut a name such as Shutdown. Click Finish. If you wish, you can then right click on the shortcut, select Properties, and click Change Icon. I use the icon that looks like a red light switch.

When you click on your new icon, the computer will shutdown. You will not be given the choice of re-starting.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Windows Transfer

Answer Man

When using windows easy transfer, will things like one's e mail account and home page come over on the flash drive or just things like files?

Most e-mail accounts like yahoo mail and g-mail are web based.  That means that they are not on your computer. Therefore, they will still be available even if you erase everything on your machine.

You set the home page in your browser, and that can easily be re-set.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Answer Man

I have heard you talk about the clipboard. What is it and what is it good for?

The clipboard is a temporary holding place within the computer. Whenever you copy an item, that item is held in the clipboard until it is replace by something else. For example, if you copied a sentence from this paragraph, that sentence is held in the clipboard. You could paste that sentence somewhere else. Each time you clicked Edit Paste the sentence would be repeated. If you then copy a different sentence, the new sentence would be held in the clipboard.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Answer Man

I frequently hear the term spreadsheets. Can you list some uses for them?

Spreadsheets are often used by accountants to keep track of various accounts, but the sheets have many good home uses. You could create your own address book, keep track of player scores in a golf tournament, maintain a list of your medications, create a stock portfolio or maintain your home inventory.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Document Cameras

Answer Man

You demonstrated a document camera that you purchased for the club. I'd like to get one for another club that I'm in. Where did you purchase yours, and how much did it cost?

You can purchase the camera from Ipevo. The cost was $94. I chose that site because they cater to educators. Thus the cameras see much use in the classroom, and that's similar to the way we'll use the camera at club meetings.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wireless Printer

Answer Man

Everyone seems to be selling wireless printers. What's the advantage of such printers?

Most people purchase wireless printers so they can operate small portable computers at some distance from the printer. Business owners like the printers because many users can access the same printer, thus saving greatly on printer costs. If neither of these reasons are important to you, just purchase a wired printer.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Slow Computer

Answer Man

My computer seems to be getting slower and slower. Is there anything I can do to speed it up?

Computers slow down over time for a variety of reasons. There may be too many programs in the start menu that are all trying to start at the same time. The drive may be fragmented. The machine may have a virus. The remaining hard drive space may be limited. Some of the memory may have failed. You need to investigate all of these problems so you can make the appropriate corrections.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Executive Board Minutes - August 9, 2013

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

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

Bob Norton gave the Treasurer's report. The current balance is $1,371.79.

An additional body pack and headset has been purchased for use at the general meetings.

Bob Leiner continued to request that club members submit their email address to, an email account created for this purpose. Type one’s name in the subject line and click “send”. This will update the club email list and eliminate any error in getting information out to club members in the future. At the December meeting a $25 gift card drawing will be held and presented to one of the registered members on the email list.

Upcoming Programs: August 21 - Paul Higgbenbottom, President of Reora, will return with his topic of discussion, “Viruses, Malware, and Spam”; September 18 – Mary Butler and Paula McCahon, from Marion County Public Library, will discuss Ebooks, Emagazines, etc.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H. Norton

Air Print

Answer Man

I have an I-Pad and can't get it to work with my computer. My Windows computer prints to the same printer. What's wrong?

The printer must be one that accepts the Air Print system. Most printers made in the last 2 or 3 years will work with Apple products, but there are many that won't. Check with the printer manufacturer to see if your printer will accept the Air Print protocol.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

No command tool bar

Answer Man

I use Internet Explorer. I want to print, but I don't see the little printer icon up near the top menu. How can I make it visible?

Right click in a blank space to the right of the word Help. You will see a list of toolbars. Some are checked and some are not. You need to click next to the words Command toolbar to insert a check mark. The printer icon should now show up.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Windows 8 Safe Mode

Answer Man

I have used safe mode in the past when I had Windows problems by pressing F8 as the computer boots. I tried it with my new Windows 8 operating system, but nothing happens. Am I doing something wrong?

When using Windows 8, you get into safe mode by holding down the shift key and F8 as the system boots.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Memory Test

Answer Man

I'm using Windows 8. My computer is slow and I suspect that not all of the computer's memory is working, How I find out if it is working?

Press the Windows key and X on the keyboard to bring up an access menu. Click on Control Panel. In the search box that appears on the right, type memory test. Click on Administrative Tools. Then click on Windows Memory Diagnostic. You will be prompted to re-start the computer and then the test will run and will let you know if all is working.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Administrative Rights

Answer Man

I often use Spybot Search and Destroy to get rid of Spam on my computer. Frequently it will give me a message that the program can't eliminate some problems because I don't have administrative rights. What can I do about the problem?

If you right click on the Spybot icon, you will see a drop down menu. One of the options is to run the program with administrative rights. Choose that option. Run the program. You may be prompted to re-start your computer, and Spybot will run again, but this time it will get rid of the offending Spam.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Contact Manager

Answer Man

I use a contact manager, address book, that is associated with my e-mail. Is there a way to look at the contact manager without going on the Internet and opening my e-mail? 

I suggest that you use a separate address book that you can access directly from your desktop. I like EZ-Contact It's free, very easy to use and searching for a contact is a breeze.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Windows XP

Answer Man

Is there anything wrong with Windows XP?

Windows XP is one of the better operating systems that Microsoft produced, but is now many years old. Microsoft will stop providing drivers for it in April, and software developers are putting all their efforts into developing programs that work with Windows 8. Since XP came out, we have seen Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Your question is like asking if there is anything wrong with a 1972 Volkswagen. While it was a great car, I'm certain that you would rather have a newer model car with all the new features.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Equipment needed for Broadband

Answer Man

I have never had broadband (high speed) Internet service. What equipment do I need to get connected?

You need to pay for Internet service through an Internet Service Provider such as Decca Cable or Century Link. They will supply a device known as a modem. The modem connects to either the phone line or the cable connection and from there to your computer. If you want to operate wirelessly, you will also need a device called a router. You will have to purchase your own router. Routers generally cost approximately $30 or more depending upon the features they offer.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Answer Man

What does DSL mean?

The letters stand for Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is one method of acquiring broadband Internet service, and it is the service that Century Link provides. The other common method to receive Internet is via cable. Each method has advantages and disadvantages and the costs for each service are similar.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Refurbished Computers

Answer Man

I can save $100 by purchasing a refurbished computer. Do you think that's a good idea?

I would only purchase a refurbished computer that was reconditioned by the original manufacturer and that had the same warranty as a new machine. The general consensus seems to be that any computer that will last a year will probably last much longer.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What is a small-form-factor computer?

Answer Man

What is a small-form-factor computer?

Small-form-factor is a generic term used to describe a mini-tower computer. Hewlett Packard sells such a computer under the name "Slimline". Dell calls theirs Optiplex. Gateway just calls theirs a small-form-factor desktop.

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