Saturday, November 30, 2013

CPU speed

Answer Man

I know that Intel makes I-3, I-5 and I-7 series CPUs. Are I-5 and I-7 chips faster than I-3 chips?

They may be. It all depends upon whether they are 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation chips. A 2nd generation I-7 is not as fast as a 4th generation I-3. Unscrupulous retailers like to sell the older I-5 and I- 7 chips while trying to convince you what a good deal they are. When you are thinking of buying a new computer, go to Intel's website to compare versions and their speeds.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fake You Tube Videos

Answer Man

There are some very convincing videos on You Tube. One, I recently saw, says you can double your Internet speed simply by taping a second Ethernet cable to the first one. It's very convincing. They even support their point with some math formulas.

I have seen that video. It is a complete hoax although very well done. There is no way to increase Internet speed other than by paying more to your Internet provider for faster speeds.

There is another You Tube video that says you can triple Internet speed by taping some AA batteries to the Ethernet cable. What will these jokesters come up with next?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Recovery without disks

Answer Man

I have been told that my computer is so corrupted that I need to do a complete recovery. No disks came with my computer and I didn't create any. Is there anything I can do with the computer?

When you first boot the computer, the splash screen should display some information about recovery. HP machines typically show info such as Press F11 for System Recovery. Other manufacturers may show other keys. It is critical that the keys be pressed before Windows begins the boot sequence. Once the key is pressed, follow the on-screen directions to recover your computer.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Access the Internet using a smart TV

Answer Man

I just bought a smart TV but can't figure out how I can access the Internet.

Each TV is different, but there will be a button on the remote that will let you click on a browser (such as Internet Explorer) When you do, a virtual screen will pop up on which you can type a web address.

I find, however, that virtual screens are difficult to use and that it is much easier to plug in a laptop computer into your TV. Then, you can use the computer's keyboard to achieve the same results.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Answer Man

How can I get rid of a ransomware virus such as the fake FBI warning?

Power down the computer and re-start in Safe mode by pressing F8 as the computer boots. Under advanced options, select safe mode with networking. Scan computer with anti malware program such as Malware Bytes, AVG or Microsoft Security Essentials (make sure they are up-to - date). Re-start the computer.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Create a restore point

Answer Man

I have often used System Restore to restore my computer to an earlier point. How do I do it in Windows 8?

When you are at the start screen, type: "Create a restore point". Then click on those same words that appear in the list that displays. The screen that shows up will allow you to create a restore point or to restore your computer to an earlier point in time.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Recovery Drive, Windows 8

Answer Man

I've been told that I should create some kind of Windows 8 recovery drive. How do I do that?

When you are on the start screen, type: "Create a recovery drive". Then, click on Create a recovery drive. Click Next. Insert a blank flash drive and follow directions. In just a few minutes the drive will be created. If you ever have trouble booting Windows 8, insert the flash drive and start the computer.

1940 Census

Answer Man

I understand that the 1940 census is available on line. Where can I find it?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Is an XP machine worth keeping?

Answer Man

I have an 8 year old Windows XP computer. I know that Microsoft is no longer supporting XP and that the machine is more susceptible to viruses. Is it worth keeping the computer?

The answer depends upon many factors. The most important factor is the amount of memory. If the computer won't hold more than 256 MB of RAM, I would get rid of the machine. If it will hold 1 GB or more, and the hard drive is big enough for your needs, it might be worth keeping. If it were my machine, I would download the Linux Mint Operating System, burn it to a disk and would install it on the machine.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tablet keyboard

Answer Man

Can I purchase an external keyboard for my tablet?

It all depends upon the type of tablet you have. Some, such as the Microsoft Surface tablet come with a keyboard. Some take a clip on keyboard and there are others where the only keyboard is a virtual keyboard that appears on the screen. If you require a keyboard, check in advance to see if a keyboard is available for the tablet you intend to purchase.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Computer slow down

Answer Man

Do all computers slow down as they age?

They slow down if users fail to perform proper maintenance. If a computer is not maintained, temporary files build up, the disk becomes fragmented, programs build up in the start menu and the CMOS (clock battery) fails. With proper maintenance, a 10 year old computer can perform as well as it did when it was new.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Program list Windows 8.1

Answer Man

I can't find the list of programs installed on my computer in Windows 8.1. Where is it hidden?

Click on the desktop tile in the Start Menu. Right click on the window icon at the bottom left of the screen. Navigate to the top of the list that appears and click on programs and features. The familiar program list will appear.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Keeping track of stocks

Answer Man

Can you suggest a free stock portfolio program?

Try Morningstar's portfolio program at The program will keep track of your stocks and bonds and will update the amounts automatically.

Monday, November 18, 2013

ISO files

Answer Man

I lost my Windows Vista program. I saw where I could get a copy on the Internet, but it said it was an ISO file. How do I use that?

You can download the Vista ISO file, but to use it, you will have to burn it to a CD or DVD. Free programs like CDburnerXP will let you burn an ISO file to disk. Once the burning is complete, the disk can then be used to re-install Vista or whatever file you burned.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Delete icon

Answer Man

I have some icons on the desktop that I'd like to remove. How can I get rid of them?

Right click on the icon and left click on delete. That will remove the icon, but the file that it is a shortcut for will still remain in the computer. If you uninstall a program, the process will normally remove both the program and the icon.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Add picture to advertisement

Answer Man

I want to sell a computer on They will let you add a picture. How do you do that?

After you compose the wording for the ad there is a button at the bottom of the form that encourages you to add a photo. Click on that button. You will then see the word browse. Click on browse and then find the file on your computer that contains the picture you want to use. It will probably be in the file entitled My Pictures. The picture will be added, and you will be able to see how it will appear in the ad. Add additional pictures in the same manner.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Answer Man

What do I need to have Wi-Fi in my home? I want to buy a new iPad and be able to operate from my easy chair.

First, you need to have broadband Internet access. In Oak Run, that is provided either by DECCA Cable or Century Link. Then, you need to purchase a router. Routers run from approximately $30 to a couple of hundred dollars. The cheapest will do for your purposes. The router broadcasts a wireless signal that you will be able to access anywhere in your home.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Genealogy Programs

Answer Man

I was using PAF (Personal Ancestral File) software for Genealogy. I see that the Mormon Church is no longer supporting the software. Have you a good alternative that will import the PAF files?

Try The software is free and is easy to use. It will import the Gedcom files that PAF and most other genealogy programs use.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Executive Board Minutes - November 8, 2013

Bob Leiner, Vice President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Richard Bambridge, Laurence Bauer, Elliott Bogart, Frazer Crane, Ron Kenyon, Bob Norton, 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 $1,533.80.

A slate of officers has been compiled for Year 2014:

President – Alan Marcus

Vice President – Richard Bambridge

Secretary – Carol Norton

Treasurer – Robert Norton

Program Chairman - Richard Bambridge

Publicity – Linda Tingley

Set-up Committee – Frazer Crane, Bob Leiner

The November 20th general meeting will feature Emilio Gonzalez, of Decca Cable, who will give a presentation on "Analog to Digital Transition."

December 18 will be the Holiday Party consisting of donuts, bagels and cream cheese.

January 15 – Gene Barlow of User Group Relations and Representative for Acronis Software, will be back to give a presentation on “Selecting the Best Back-up Approach”.

February 19 – Comparison of Tablets

The meeting adjourned at 9:45AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H. Norton

Windows 8.1

Answer Man

What is your opinion of Windows 8.1?

Despite what many critic said, I liked Windows 8, and I think 8.1 is an improvement over 8.0. Most items are easier to find in 8.1 and the system starts, operates and ends quickly. The cost of the software is rather high now, so, if you already have Windows 7, I suggest staying with it until you can justify purchasing a new computer. The new one will come with 8.1 installed.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Move music from computer to iPad

Answer Man

I put music from CD's on my desktop computer. I'd like to move that music to my iPad. How do I do it?

Connect the cable from the bottom of the iPad to a USB port on the desktop. It should sync automatically. If it doesn't, you will see a screen with many options. One tab will be labeled "music". Click on that tab and select "Sync Music" or "Sync entire library". You can also sync playlists.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Answer Man

I keep seeing the word default in reference to my computer. What does it mean?

Default means preferred setting. Your default font setting is probably 10 or 12 point. If you have two printers, one is set as default, but you can change the default setting to the one you use the most.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

SATA drives

Answer Man

I bought a second hard drive for my desktop computer. I know that I'm supposed to identify the drive as a master or a slave, but I don't see any way to do that.

You are thinking of older IDE drives in which those settings had to be made by moving tiny jumpers on the rear of the drives. Newer SATA drives automatically make those changes so you don't have to.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Add e-books to Kindle

Answer Man

I see that has free e-books that can be downloaded. I downloaded them to my computer in the correct format (mobi) but don't know how to get them to my e-reader.

Send and e-mail, with attachments (the books from NASA) to your account at Click on synchronize on the Kindle. In a few minutes, the books will transfer.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Boot from external drive

Answer Man

I have an external hard drive that contains an operating system different from the one on my computer. Can I boot from the external drive?

Plug the external drive into a USB port. When the computer begins to boot, you must press a key to enter the boot sequence screen. That key varies depending upon the computer manufacturer. Common keys are ESC, F2 and F10. The screen normally displays which key will boot to the BIOS. When you are in the BIOS, change the boot sequence by clicking on hard drives and then on the name of the external drive. Save and exit the bios and the computer will boot the operating system that is on the external drive.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

No sound from Internet

Answer Man

I'm puzzled. My computer makes sounds when I play CD's, shut down the computer, etc., but it will not play the sounds accompanying Youtube videos or from other Internet sources.

Many Internet sources have their own volume controls which appear at the bottom of the video. Bring up a video and look for a picture of a speaker. Click on the speaker and drag the slider that appears to the right.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Adobe Flash updates

Answer Man

A pop-up appears on my screen telling me to update Adobe Flash. Is this spam? Will I get in trouble by downloading the update?

Adobe Flash is a legitimate program required to see some graphics. The update should not cause any problems.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wireless adapter

Answer Man

I have an old laptop that doesn't have a wireless card. The operating system is Linux Mint. I put a wireless adapter in the USB slot, but I can't get it to work. Any suggestions?

All wireless adapters are not created equal. Some do not have Linux drivers and will only work with Windows. You'll have to go on the adapters web site to see if they supply Linux drivers.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Old computer usage

Answer Man

I have an old computer with just 128 MB of RAM. What operating systems will run on the machine?

You need an old operating system to run on any machine with so little RAM. Windows XP requires a minimum of 64 MB and will run well on 128 MB. Older Linux based programs such as Ubuntu 4.10 and 9.04 will also run with that amount of memory.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Re-size images

Answer Man

I know that I'm supposed to reduce image size when sending e-mail attachments, but I don't know how to do that. Can you tell me an easy way?

Download Freesizer at Left click on the image you'd like to reduce in size, hold down the left mouse button and drag the image to the blank space in Freesizer. Then pick re-size. The original will be left alone and a reduced copy will appear which you can attach to the e-mail.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Answer Man

I see that Windows 8 has a Refresh command. What does it do, and why do I need it?

I'll give you a quick personal story to illustrate my answer. I was unable to download Apps from the Windows Store. A notice popped up suggesting I refresh the computer. I was warned that although my documents and personal info would be saved, any programs that I added to the computer would probably have to be re-installed.

I performed the refresh and found that a list of the programs removed was created, and I could click on those items and re-install the programs from the associated web sites. The entire process took less than an hour.

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