Monday, March 31, 2014

Air Print

Answer Man

I have an iPad and an iPhone. I have been told I need a special printer. Is that true?

Well, a special printer that accepts Apple's air print capability makes things easier. If you have such a printer, you just click Print on your Apple's device and the printer prints. If you do not have an air print printer, the printing is usually done through Google Cloud. That requires more set-up, a Google account and a little more hassle. Air print printers are no more expensive. A friend recently purchased a Canon air print printer from Staples for just $59, and that included the starter cartridges.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

iPad Types

Answer Man

I have an iPad. ATT sold me an Internet connectivity package for about $40 per month, but I find I can't connect to the Internet. ATT insists there's nothing wrong on my end. Can you tell me what I'm doing wrong?

There are two types of iPads. One is Wi-Fi only. The more expensive type is 3G or 4G capable.

There is about a $130 price differential between the two. The package you bought from ATT will only work with the more expensive model. If you have the Wi-Fi only model, you either have to go somewhere where there is Wi-Fi (such as your nearby McDonalds) or you need to purchase a broadband modem and a hot spot.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

speed up the computer

Answer Man

What steps are normally taken to increase computer speed?

Decrease the number of programs that start when the computer starts. Clean the computer of all viruses and malware. Be certain that the hard drive is less than 80% full. If it is more than 80% full, uninstall unused programs or purchase a larger hard drive. Remove toolbars and spam. Delete cookies and empty the recycle bin.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Restore vs. Recover

Answer Man

What is the difference between restoring and recovering a computer?

Restore means to revert the computer to an earlier point in time. If, for example, the computer was working perfectly before and update and not working well after the update, you would want to restore the computer to a date before the update was installed. Recovery means to have the computer revert to the condition it was in when you first purchased the computer.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What is a firewall?

Answer Man

Here's how Indiana University defines a firewall.

A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. You can implement a firewall in either hardware or software form, or a combination of both. Firewalls prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet (i.e., the local network to which you are connected) must pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How much memory?

Answer Man

Is there an easy way to determine how much memory my computer has and how much more it can take?

Go to Give Crucial permission to analyze your computer. The program will tell you how many memory slots are in your computer, what memory is in there now, how much memory you can add and the price of that memory from Crucial.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Increase laptop memory

Answer Man

My laptop has room for more memory. Is it difficult to add?

It is easier to install memory on a laptop than on a desktop. Remove the screw holding down the cover over the memory. Press the two metal clips outward slightly. If you do it correctly, the memory module will pop up and can be slid out. Insert the new memory and press down on the module. The metal clips should lock back on the sides of the module.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Answer Man

What is chkdsk, and how do I use the command?

Chkdsk is a recovery console command used to check a specified disk and repair or recover data on the drive. It also marks any damaged or malfunctioning items on the hard drive or disk as "bad" and recovers information To use it, click Start, and then Computer. Right click on the C: drive. Choose Properties. Click Tools. Click Error Checking.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Legacy Programs

Answer Man

I have several old programs which I really like. Unfortunately, they won't run on my new Windows 8 computer. Do I have to forego using those programs?

Old (legacy) programs may have updates that will enable them to run on Windows 8, but in most cases the programs will be obsolete. You might do what I do. I have an older computer running Windows Vista, and I run my legacy programs on that computer.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Install disk for printer

Answer Man

I lost the install disk that came with my printer. Do I have to pay to get a replacement?

You probably can get the driver software free from the printer company's website. You might, for example go to, click Support, click Drivers and type in the model of your printer. Then look for the latest driver. Click Download. Click on the item that was downloaded and follow the instructions to install the driver on your computer.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Can't connect to Internet from tablet computer

Answer Man

I just bought a new tablet computer. It won't connect to the Internet. What am I missing?

You must have some form of Internet connectivity. In Oak Run, the Internet providers are Century Link and Decca Cable. You could also connect with mobile broadband through Verizon, ATT, etc. Those companies will provide modems. Then, you need to buy a router, which connects to the modem and broadcasts a wireless signal. That set-up provides the wi-fi signal that your tablet needs.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tablet stylus

Answer Man

I bought a new tablet computer, but I find my fingers are so big that I tend to hit the wrong key or several keys at a time. Have you any suggestions?

I have the same problem and find that by using a stylus (a pencil-like device) I can be much more accurate. I have seen styluses as inexpensive as 2 for $9. Check on e-bay.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Router default password

Answer Man

What is a router default password?

When you first buy a router, it is set up with a password established by the manufacturer. It is usually something easy to remember such as Admin or Password. When you set up the router, it is advisable to change from the default password to one of your own choosing. Sometime the router has to be reset by pressing the re-set button. The router will then return to its default password. You can do an Internet search to find the default password for your make and model of router.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kindle charger

Answer Man

I lost the charger for my Kindle. Will anything else charge my Kindle?

Most cell phone chargers will have the right size connector to charge that e-reader.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Executive Board Minutes - March 14, 2014

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM.

Members in attendance: Richard Bambridge, Frazer Crane, Ron Kenyon, Bob Leiner, Bob Norton, 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 $1,906.28.

At the February 14 meeting a motion was made by Elliott Bogart, seconded by Linda Tingley and carried to give lifetime membership to Frazer Crane in the Computer Club.

Upcoming Programs:
March 19 – Bill Sobel from Stone Creek will give a presentation on the design and installation of Home Theater and Smart TV;
April 16 – Nick Burke from Oak Run will discuss Freeware;
May 21 – Capt. James Pogue, Public Information Officer of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, will give a presentation on Today’s Use of Computers and Social Media To Investigate, Solve and Prevent Crime.

The meeting adjourned at 9:35 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H. Norton

Two hard drives

Answer Man

My hard drive is very small. Can I add a second hard drive to the computer?

My answer is a definite maybe. If your computer was originally designed to accept a second drive and the cabling is present, a 2nd drive can be added. Older computers must use hard drive jumpers that identify the drives as master and slave. Newer SATA drive computers do not have to be identified as such. Having two drives is useful if you have run out of storage space on one of the drives.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Check for bad files

Answer Man

I think some of the computer files may be corrupt. How can I check to see if that is the case?

Hold down the Windows key on the keyboard and press the letter R. Type CMD. Right click on the CMD you see above the search box. Click Run as Administrator. Type SFC /scannow. The command will run the system file checker.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A View Of The Past

Stop running processes

Answer Man

I was trying to start a process and the computer just froze. I know I'm not supposed to hold in the start button to shut down the computer. Is there something else I can do?

Hold the CTRL, ALT and DEL keys on the keyboard at the same time. Click on Task Manager. Click on the running task and then click End Task. If you did that correctly, you will be returned to the Desktop so that you can proceed with the task once more.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Add column to spread sheet

Answer Man

Is there a simple way to insert a column in a spread sheet?

Click on the letter at the top of the column that is on the right of where you want the new column to be. Click Insert and then Column.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Copy and Paste

Answer Man

I have a blood pressure sheet with all my readings. I don't want to have to re-type all the info on a newly designed sheet. Is there a simple way to copy the info?

Hold down your left mouse button and move the mouse over the info until it is highlighted. Press the CTRL key and the letter C on the keyboard to copy the info to the clipboard. Click on the location where you want the info on the new chart and press CTRL and the letter V to paste the info on to the new sheet. Be sure to save the new info.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Browser start page

Answer Man

My browser starts on Bing, but I want it to start with Google. How do I change the settings?

Most browsers have a setting called Internet Options. Click on that setting. You will see the URL for Bing. Erase it and type in

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bored with solitaire

Answer Man

When I'm bored I often play solitaire. Now I'm bored with that. Got any ideas to peak my interest again?

I like the African game Mancala. One of the best versions is on-line. The game is easy to learn, but it takes some practice to beat the computer.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Icon arrangement

Answer Man

I don't like the way Windows arranges my icons. I have dragged them around and changed them, but every once and awhile they get out of sequence by themselves. What can I do about it?

Try the following program: download: Open the program and click Save. When the icons get out of order, click Restore.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Screen is blurry

Answer Man

I had to re-install Windows XP. Now the screen is blurry and hard to read. What's wrong?

You need to download the graphics driver for your computer. Find the manufacturer's web site (such as Click on Support and then on Download Drivers. Look for the graphics driver for your model computer. find the graphics driver and click on it to download to your computer. When the download finishes. Click on the file so the graphics driver installs.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

dll errors

Answer Man

A message popped up on my computer regarding a dll error. What is it and what do I do about it?

There are many causes and many solutions. Rather than try to explain them here, I'll refer you to the following website and their excellent explanation.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Expired Certificates

Answer Man

The was a lot of lightening near our home the other day, and the power went out. My computer still runs, but when I click on Internet Explorer, A message pops up about expired certificates. Do you have any idea what happened and can you tell me how to fix the problem?

Evidently, a power surge caused the computer to lose the start up information that is stored in the bios. When that happens, the system clock is set back in time (usually to 2001). The computer thinks that all the program certificates have expired. You need to re-set the time and date. Then go into the computer bios and click on the restore to defaults setting..

Thursday, March 6, 2014

NIC Card

Answer Man

I want to connect my desktop computer to the Internet. I have been told that my computer must have something called a NIC. What is it, and how can I tell if the computer has one?

Almost all computers made in the last 6 years or so have a NIC (Network Interface Card) built into the mother board. Look at the rear of the desktop. You should see something that looks like a modular phone jack but is slightly larger. It's called an RJ-45 connection. Phones use RJ-11 connections. If you do not see an RJ-45 jack, you can add a NIC to your computer. The cards are inexpensive.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Print paper selection

Answer Man

Does the type of paper I use in my printer make much difference?

I have used everything from copy paper, to 24 lb bond to card stock without encountering any difficulty. Just be aware that photo papers, with high gloss finishes, may make it take longer for the ink to dry, so you want to be careful in handling paper that has just come from the printer. I would not pay extra for so called ink-jet paper.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Computer switch defective

Answer Man

My desktop computer is great, but recently the on/off switch broke. I took apart the computer and found that a flimsy plastic piece on top of the actual switch was broken. Is there an inexpensive way to fix the situation? It's an old computer and I don't want to spend a lot of money.

I recently had the same problem. I couldn't believe the cheapness of the switching device. I found the wires that ran to the switch, cut off the old switch and attached an SPST (single pole single throw) normally off momentary contact switch. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the case and mounted the switch. I purchased 2 of the switches, including shipping, for 99 cents on e-bay. Talk about a cheap fix!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Laptop reliability

Answer Man

I'm considering the purchase of a new computer. I heard that laptops are less reliable than desktops. Is that true?

Yes it is true. Laptop components are tiny and less rugged. You move laptops around, and the hard drive gets some rough treatment. Batteries continually degrade, and after a few years have a small fraction of their original strength.. If you are a snowbird, or do a lot of traveling, a laptop might be needed. If those attributes do not apply, I'd purchase a desktop computer if reliability is a concern.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

When to use a flash drive for backups

Answer Man

I need to backup my computer. Is a flash drive all I need?

The correct answer to your question is: It depends! It depends upon how much data you need to back up and on the size of your flash drive or external drive.

Flash drives have come down in price. Recently I say 16 GB drives for $7.99. You probably can back up all your data and photos on a drive that size. If you do video editing, have many thousands of photos or an unusual amount of data, you will need a bigger drive. But 32 GB flash drives are not a great expense.

If you plan on making an image of your hard drive so that all programs and the operating system are to be restored, you will need an external drive of perhaps 250 GB or larger. You can buy a 1 TB drive for under $100.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Replacing laptop hard drive

Answer Man

My laptop is several years old, and the hard drive failed. I can buy an inexpensive hard drive on e-bay, but I wonder how difficult it is to replace the old drive.

It is very easy in most laptops. Remove the panel over the hard drive. There may also be screws holding down the hard drive. Remove them and then pull up on the plastic tab on top of the drive. The old drive should come out easily. Reverse the procedure to insert the new drive. In some cases there may be an adapter that has to be removed from the old drive and placed on the new one. Just take your time. I think you will find the task is not difficult.

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