Friday, January 31, 2014


Answer Man

What is chkdsk, and how is the command used?

Checkdsk can be used to check the status of a disk and, with the addition of certain parameters, can repair the disk. To run the command chkdsk, you must be at a command prompt. If you type cmd in the computer search box and then click on the term CMD when it appears above the search box, you will see a black and white screen in which the chkdsk command can be typed. To exit the cmd prompt, type exit.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wired vs Wireless

Answer Man

Is a wired connection faster than a wireless connection?

Here's a quote from Yahoo:

Wired is generally faster than wireless. For example, if you have a wireless N router with a 10/100 switch, a wired connection will give you 100MB/s whereas wireless will give you 300KB/s. That's one third the speed of the wired connection. Plus, this is an ideal connection using Wireless N adapter with AES encryption. If your adapter is wireless G you will get 54KB/s max.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Drivers needed

Answer Man

If I re-install an operating system, will I also have to install various drivers?

Yes, you will. Under normal conditions, you will have to use another computer to navigate to the computer manufacturer's web site to down load video, audio and network card drivers. Then, you will have to re-install your printer or go to the printer manufacturer's web site and download the latest drivers.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Computer lock-up

Answer Man

My computer has some sort of virus and the screen just locks up. Any suggestions?

The first thing you should try is what is called a soft boot. Hold down the following keys all at once: CTRL, ALT and DEL A list of running tasks should appear. Stop each of the tasks. If you are lucky, the computer will be OK and will reboot. If that doesn't work, there are several other things you can try, but they are a little too detailed for this blog post.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Computer down - No Magic Jack

Answer Man

My computer locked up with some virus, and now my Magic Jack doesn't work. Is there any way to get the Magic Jack working until my computer is repaired? I hate not having a phone?

If you have a Magic Jack Plus, you can plug the MJ into an open port on your router. If you don't have a router, you can purchase one for approximately $40. If you have a router, but an old model MJ, You can purchase a new Magic Jack that will plug into your router.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Answer Man

I have heard the term hotspot. What does it mean?

Many providers now sell 4G wireless adapters for your computer that will receive the Internet from cell towers and send a wireless signal to several devices within your home for a monthly fee. The adapters typically handle up to 4 wireless devices. The Verizon Jetpack is an example of a 4G hotspot.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Answer Man

I have an old computer with just 512 MB of RAM. Will any version of Ubuntu work on the computer?

No! Later versions require a minimum of 1 GB of RAM. You probably won't be able to even get them to install on your old machine. Look for an old version of Ubuntu. Version 9.04 will run on just about any computer.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Try Linux

Answer Man

Is there a way to try a Linux operating system without installing the program?

Ubuntu and Linux Mint will boot from a CD. The programs will not install in your current Windows computer unless you click on the word install command. The Linux OS will be slower operating from the CD, but you will be able to test the program features.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is this computer a good buy?

Answer Man

Target recently ran an ad for a Gateway computer for just $229. That sounds awfully cheap. Can the computer be any good at that price?

I know the computer. It has 4 GB of RAM and a 750 GB hard drive, and they're good specs, however, the computer uses the low end AMD E series processor. Nonetheless, I think the computer is a good buy. To get the equivalent specs with a good AMD A series processor or an Intel 5 CPU you'd have to pay over $400. Since the computer comes with Windows 8.1, the computer should be fast enough for most uses.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The New Alphabet

The times they are a changing. This is the alphabet that was taught to you, maybe, or at least your kids. But, do you recognize the new alphabet?

Below is how your grandkids are learning the alphabet!

(click this image to enlarge)

Add/Remove Programs is gone

Answer Man

I had an XP machine. One of the options in the control panel was to add/remove programs. My machine was updated to Windows Vista. The add/remove programs command is gone. How do I remove an unwanted program in Vista?

Click Start, Control Panel, Programs, Uninstall a Program. Then find the program you wish to uninstall and click Uninstall/Change.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Print Shop won't install

Answer Man

I bought a new computer (Windows 7) and tried to install my old version of The Print Shop. It just wouldn't work. Is there something else I can do to get the program in my computer?

Right click on the desktop and click New and Folder. Insert your CD for The Print Shop in the drive and copy all of the files into the new folder you created on the desktop. Remove the CD. Go into to the new folder and click Setup. The program should install. If all works well, delete the folder you created on the desktop.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Restore in Windows 8.1

Answer Man

How can I restore my system to an earlier point in Windows 8.1?

Click on the following in order: Right Click Windows icon in lower left of quick launch bar; Click Start, Control Panel, System and Security, Action Center, Recovery, Advanced Recovery Tools, Open System Restore, Restore System files and Settings, Next, (pick the restore point) and Next.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Search flash drive for malware

Answer Man

You mentioned the use of Malwarebytes in scanning hard drives. I had my flash drive in someone else's corrupted computer, and I'm afraid the malware might be on my flash drive now. Is there a way to use Malwarebytes to scan flash drives?

Insert the flash drive in a USB port. Start Malwarebytes and select Full Scan. Check only the letter of the drive you want scanned and run the scan. It will take a very brief time to complete the scan.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Internet Service Providers

Answer Man

I just moved into Oak Run. I need the Internet. I'd like to use Road Runner. How do I contact them?

Road Runner is not available to the community. There are just two Internet service providers (ISPs) in Oak Run. They are Centurylink and Decca Cable. You could also use an air card (through a service such as Verizon) but the service will be slower and expensive. You could also use satellite (very expensive and has some interference issues).

Friday, January 17, 2014

Memory Capacity

Answer Man

Assuming there is room for more memory in my computer, is more better?

My answer is an unequivocal yes and no. If you have a 32 bit computer, you can not use more than 4 GB of memory. If you have a 64 bit computer, it will use all that the machine can hold.

To tell if you have a 32 or 64 bit machine, click start and then right click Computer. You will see a statements such as: System Type: 32 bit operating system.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Browser can't connect

Answer Man

A message popped up on my screen that says something about an inability to connect to the Internet. What's wrong with my computer?

There is probably nothing wrong with your computer. If the browser can't connect it is either that your Internet provider (Decca or Centurylink) is down or that your modem or router or both need to be re-set.

Unplug the modem and router from the wall. Wait 15 or 20 seconds. Plug in the modem. Wait a minute. Plug in the router (if you have one). Try getting into the internet. If you no longer get the error message, fine. If you still do, contact your Internet Provider to see if their system is down.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Phishing attack

Answer Man

I got hit with one of those phishing attacks where a pop-up looked just like a legitimate Microsoft site but wasn't. They requested that I click on a box to get a free Windows 8.1 download. Now my screen is locked. What can I do to get my computer back to normal?

First, try CTRL + ALT + DEL keys all at once to see if you can end the running process. If that doesn't work, see if you can restore your computer to an earlier point (type restore in the search box to find out how). If you can run Spybot (assuming it's on your computer), try that. If none of these work, you may have to do a complete system recovery to re-install the operating system.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Executive Board Minutes - January 10, 2014

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Members in attendance: Richard Bambridge, Laurence Bauer, Elliott Bogart, Frazer Crane, Ron Kenyon, Bob Leiner, 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 $1,840.13.

Motion made by Frazer Crane, seconded by Bob Leiner to reimburse Elliott Bogart $17.57 for materials to produce the club’s 2014 name tags.

Frazer Crane made motion, seconded by Bob Leiner and carried to give two gift cards at the general meetings beginning this month.

Doug Sebring, a guest from Stone Creek Computer Club, discussed an upcoming Mac meeting and various ideas that his club uses.

Programs for 2014: 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 by Richard Bambridge; March 19 – Freeware by Nick Burke.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H. Norton

Available Apps Linux Mint

Answer Man

There are all kinds of applications available for the various Windows operating systems. Does Linux Mint have many apps?

There are currently 43,202 apps available for Linux Mint 16 (Petra). They are all free. However, as with all operating system apps, you will find some are much better than others, and some are virtually worthless.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Computer turns off unexpectedly

Answer Man

From time to time my computer shuts down right in the middle of what I'm doing. Can you tell what might be wrong?

The first thing to check is the power settings in the control panel. The default settings for many computer is to turn off the display after a short time. I would change all the power settings to never shut off. If that doesn't solve the problem, check to see if you have a screen saver set. If you don't, the screen may just go to black and you will think that the computer has shut down.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

No Sound

Answer Man

No sound is coming from my computer. What might be wrong?

I know of someone who had a monitor with built in speakers. They installed a new larger monitor, but the new monitor did not have speakers. The only way they could get sound is to buy a set of new speakers or some headphones. They bought a great set of Logitech speakers for just $10 at Wal-mart. Now they have outstanding sound.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Leave Modem On

Answer Man

I was wondering whether I should turn off my modem and router at night?

Leave them on 24/7. If you don't, you will have to go through the bother of having to put on the modem and wait until it's up to speed and then do the same thing for the router. You won't hurt anything by leaving both devices on all of the time.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tablet hard drive size

Answer Man

I see tablets that have solid state hard drives with capacities of 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 Gigabytes. Is a small capacity drive acceptable?

That all depends how you plan to use your tablet. If you plan to save tons of photos and lots of information, larger sizes become important. If you are just sending e-mails and searching the web, a smaller drive is fine. However, I don't think I would choose a tablet that had less than an 8 GB drive.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Copying files to CD/DVD

Answer Man

I tried to drag files and copy and paste files to a CD, but it just won't work. What am I doing wrong?

To write (burn) files to a CD or DVD you must use disk burning software. Once the software is opened, you can drag or cut and paste files to the software and then click Burn to move the information to the disk. If you don't have disk burning software, you can obtain a free disk burning programs such as CDburnerXP,

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Secure site

Answer Man

Is there a way to tell if a site is secure?

Secure sites are preceded by https. The S indicating secure. You may also see a small lock icon.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The icons are gone

Answer Man

My desktop icons have disappeared. How can I get them back?

Right click on the desktop and select View. Then Click by the statement "Show desktop icons".

Monday, January 6, 2014

What is an aircard?

Answer Man

I have heard some people talk about connecting to the Internet using an aircard. What is an aircard?

Here's the definition from An aircard is a type of wireless broadband modem used for connecting to cellular networks. Aircards provide roaming access to the Internet from mobile computers outside the range of Wi-Fi hotspots. They may also be used as an alternative to home dial up Internet service in rural areas.

You will find that aircard connections are slower than direct connections, but are convenient when you are away from home.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Webcam spying

Answer Man

Can someone spy on me using my own webcam?

They certainly can. It has recently been reported that the FBI can use your webcam without turning on the indicator light. If you are concerned, I suggest that you cover the lens of your webcam with tape or hang a piece of cardboard over it when it's not in use.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Backup to a flash drive

Answer Man

How do I backup using a flash drive?

Insert the drive in a USB port. Click Start. Click Computer. Look for the flash drive. It will have a drive letter and a description. Click on the letter or description. It will show that the drive is empty. Drag files or photos from their source to the blank drive page. The files will transfer.

Friday, January 3, 2014

CD/DVD Capacity

Answer Man

I need to back-up lots of data and photos. Should I use a CD, DVD or a flash drive?

That all depends upon how much you need to back up. A typical CD holds 700 MB of info, a DVD holds 4.7 GB, a double layer DVD holds 8.5 GB and flash drives are available now in 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB sizes. If your data requires more space, you'll have to purchase an external hard drive with the appropriate capacity.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Is Windows 8.1 the latest Windows?

Answer Man

I'm confused. Everyone tells me that Windows 8.1 is the latest Windows operating system, but I have Windows 10 on my computer. What gives?

You have made a common error. You are confusing a browser with an operating system. Windows 8.1 is the latest Windows operating system. Internet Explorer 10 is a browser. Other browsers include: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari. Each is numbered, hence the confusion.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Is Windows 8.1 free?

Answer Man

Is it true that Windows 8.1 is free?

Well, kind of free. The catch is that you must own Windows 8.0 in order to get 8.1 for free. If you currently own Windows 7, XP or Vista, you will have to buy 8.1

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