Friday, October 31, 2014

Wireless adapter

Answer Man

I won a Linux computer at the Club drawing, but it won't connect to the Internet. Should I get rid of it for one that will?

In order to connect to the Internet you need one of three devices: a built in NIC (network interface card), a device called a power line adapter or a wireless adapter. The wireless adapter is by far the cheapest of these options. If you do a search on-line, you will find many adapters selling between $4 and $10. The adapter plugs into a USB port and lets your computer connect wirelessly.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Windows 10

Answer Man

I would like to try the Windows 10 Technical Preview. What are the minimum computer requirements to run the program?

The processor should be at least 1 GHz. 1 GB RAM is required for a 32 bit system and 2 GB for a 64 bit system. Apps won't run if the resolution is low.

If you are going to try 10, do it on an old machine as the product will be in Beta for many months.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Saving pictures to computer

Answer Man

I am able to take pictures with my digital camera and can view the picture in the camera. How do I get the pictures to move from the camera to the computer?

There are three possible ways to copy the pictures to the computer. You may transfer the pictures via cable between the computer and the USB port. You can insert the camera picture card into the appropriate slot in the computer or, you can use a camera dock (if your camera came with one).

After the camera is connected to the computer, a screen will pop up that includes a method of viewing the files. If you see the letters DCIM (digital camera images), click on it. The pictures, or numbers identifying the images will appear. Press the CTRL key and the letter A to select all of the pictures. Then press CTRL and C to copy the pictures to the clipboard. Navigate to your Pictures folder and press CTRL and V to paste the pictures into the pictures folder.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Windows 10 Preview

Answer Man

I heard that you have downloaded and tried Windows 10 Technical Preview. Have you formed any preliminary opinions about the operating system?

Windows 10 Preview is a work in progress. Microsoft is trying to avoid the problems encountered with Windows 8 by soliciting feedback from people willing to use the system while it is in Beta test format. Hopefully, by the time of the final release, in April 2015, Microsoft will have received many worthwhile suggestions. and made the necessary improvements.

Windows 10 appears to be a blend of Windows 7 and Windows 8. The blend appeases those who do not have touch screens, and the operating system now has a simplified start and stop button. The search function works well. The speed is improved. Files are easier to find. I like it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Email Providers

Answer Man

I have DECCA Cable. Must I use the DECCA email?

Email is generally provided free of charge, and anyone can set up an account. If you would like to have another account, you simply go to the provider site and create an account. It is possible to have several e-mail accounts. Some people have accounts at Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, Outlook, etc.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Create a folder

Answer Man

How can I create a folder on the desktop to store miscellaneous items?

Right click in an empty space on the desktop. Click 'New' and then 'Folder'. Type Miscellaneous, and press Enter. Your new folder will appear.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Change background image

Answer Man

How can I use a photograph as the computer background?

Right click on the photo and click Select as Desktop Background.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lost e-mail

Answer Man

My computer hard drive quit. Does that mean I have lost my e-mail and all of my contacts?

I doubt that you have lost any e-mail or your contacts. Most e-mail is web based. That means that your e-mail and contacts are kept on the provider's servers rather than on your computer, and will be available from virtually any computer. Some of the more popular web based e-mail is provided by Yahoo Mail, Google Mail, Decca Mail (Google) and AOL.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Print Paper

Answer Man

Does the choice of paper make much difference in the appearance when I print using an ink-jet printer?

Yes it does. The factors you should consider when choosing paper are: Weight, brightness and finish.

Most papers are in the 24 to 71 lb weight range. Photo papers usually are in the 62 lb range. The heavier, the better (if your printer will accept the heavier papers). Brightness ranges from 1 to 100 with 100 being the brightest. Photo papers are usually in the 90s. The brighter the paper the better. Gloss finishes are better for most purposes than matte.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Editing PDF files

Answer Man

I often receive PDF forms that need to be filled out. My Adobe Reader opens the files, but I'm unable to type on the forms. I would like to be able to complete the forms and simply email them back to the sender rather than having to print and send the documents by snail mail. Is there a way to accomplish what I want?

You need a PDF reader that lets you edit. I suggest you download the Foxit reader to accomplish your goal. http://www.foxitsoftware.com/.

USB

Answer Man

I have been told there can be a difference between front and rear USB ports in a desktop computer. Is there any difference?

There can be. Most newer desktops have a couple of USB 3 ports in the rear. The front ports are generally USB 2. There is a big difference in speed between the two types.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trackball

Answer Man

What is a trackball?

A trackball looks like a mouse with a big marble on top.

The marble serves as a pointing device, and is used in place of a mouse. Although trackballs are still around, they seem to have lost popularity. Some users, however, prefer the action to that of a traditional mouse.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Small Form Factor

Answer Man

I have often seen the term "Small Form Factor". What does it mean?

It refers to very small computers. Some of the computers will even clip on the back of monitors. The term varies in meaning, however. Some users consider the HP slimline and Dell Optiplex small form, and others say that they are way too big to fit in the category. Some of the smallest will fit in the palm of your hand.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Computer camera

Answer Man

Do computers come with built-in cameras?

Some do. Most higher end laptops have cameras built-in to the lid. If you look carefully, you will see a very small lens on camera equipped laptops. If you would like a camera, and your computer doesn't have one, there are many available. They generally cost about $30 or more. Logitech is one of the most well known manufacturers of cameras. You can buy them at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples and from many other stores. Most cameras clip on top of the monitors.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Copy photos to computer

Answer Man

I am new to digital photography. I followed the camera manual, and I was able to take the photos, see them on the camera, and connect the camera to the computer. However, when I disconnect the camera, all of the pictures disappear. How do I get them to stay in the computer?

When you connect the camera to the computer, you see the pictures that are in the camera. Once you see them on the computer screen, click Edit and Select All. All of the pictures should be highlighted. Click Edit and Copy. Go to the folder where your pictures are stored (usually labeled Pictures) and click Edit and then Paste. The pictures will then be in both the camera and the computer.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recovery partition corrupted

Answer Man

I ran into a series of problems with my computer. I tried to do a complete recovery, but it didn't work. I have been told that I will have to re-install Windows 7, but I don't have the disks. Can I use someone else's Windows 7 to put the operating system back on my computer?

You can do that, but the process will over-write the manufacturer's information on the disk. The result is that you will no longer have a recovery partition and your computer will be missing all of the drivers that the manufacturer installed. You will probably have to download a driver for the network card, and the computer will run through a process of installing hundreds of updates. If you lack the experience or nerve to complete the process, I suggest you contact someone with more computer experience.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Location: Ocala Macintosh User Group (OMUG)

For all you Apple users, as of 14th October, OMUG have moved their meeting location to a new venue at Marion Senior Services Center, 1101 SW 20th Ct, Ocala(click for map). This is a far more convenient location for all those living in the communities along the SR-200 corridor. It's approx 20 minutes from Oak Run.

Meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:45PM. You can find all the details of the Club at Ocalamug.org. If you're an existing Apple user, or intending to buy one of their new products, I would recommend you give the club a try.

E-Reader differences

Answer Man

A few years ago, I received one of the first Kindle readers as a gift. It works well, and I have enjoyed using it, but I'm wondering if I am missing anything that the new readers provide?

The original Kindles did not use touch screen technology. They had a keyboard, and pages were changed with forward and back buttons. The screens were dimmer and were of much lower resolution. Many new e-readers are back-lit or use technology that makes the screens much easier to read in dim light. The new Kindle Voyage combines touch screen and simulated buttons to change pages, but expect to pay more for the better technology.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Skype video

Answer Man

I'm new to Skype. I have been able to test the audio using the Skype testing service, but I can't tell if my camera works. Is there a way to test the camera?

Open Skype. Click Tools, Options, Video Settings. Your camera will turn on if it is working.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Online banking

Answer Man

Is online banking safe?

There have been so many credit card breaches and security hacks lately that I'm hard pressed to say that anything is safe. You can have problems when you pay for anything using a credit card, but I wouldn't stop using them because of that risk.

There's a risk in driving, flying and crossing the street, but I wouldn't give up those activities. Online banking has risks, but I think that they are minimal. If you are thinking of banking that way, check out bankrate.com to see a list of online banks and their ratings.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wipe the hard drive

Answer Man

I want to replace my computer, but I don't want the info on the old computer to fall into bad hands. How do I destroy the information so no one can access my data?

You can remove the hard drive and smash it, or you can use software that will write over the information with a series of 1's and 0's. There are several free software programs that will wipe your hard drive. Here's a list of many of them - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/free-data-destruction-software.htm

Saturday, October 11, 2014

HDMI

Answer Man

My new laptop has a port labeled HDMI. What function does the port serve?

HDMI or High Definition Multi-media Interface is a port that combines audio and video in one cable. It is most often used to connect a computer to a TV and is sometimes used to connect a computer to a projector. Our club uses an HDMI port to project images from the club's laptop computer on to the large projection screen.

PayPal password

Answer Man

I was going to purchase a product online. They asked for my PayPal account login and password. How do I know whether the company is legitimate and not just a scam location? I don't want to let someone have access to my PayPal account.

If you click where it asks to submit PayPal information, you will see that the PayPal address is preceded by https. The S is the important part. It tells you that you are submitting the info to a secure site. However, if the address is anything other than paypal.com, be suspicious.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Board Minutes - October, 2014

Oak Run Computer Club - Executive Board Minutes
October 10, 2014

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 am. Members in attendance were: Elliott Bogart, Ron Kenyon, Lawrence Bauer, Bob Norton and Alan Marcus.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. The Treasurer's report showed a balance of $2052.

Board members voted unanimously against participation in the Oak Run Club Information Day.

Lawrence Bauer moved that we reimburse Bob Leiner $12.10 for batteries that were purchased for the sound system and Elliott Bogart, $9.53, for badge paper. The motion was seconded by Ron Kenyon. Motion carried.

The group suggested that knowledgeable members should give a presentation on Windows 10 at the holiday party.

Elliott Bogart suggested that the site worldstart.com be used as a potential source of year round gifts to be given away at club meetings.

Alan Marcus gave a short demonstration of Windows 10 Technical Preview.

The meeting adjourned at 9:41 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Alan Marcus, Acting Secretary

Paid Reviews

Answer Man

Many of the reviews on Amazon and other sites seem to be too complimentary. Do you suppose that some are planted by the companies themselves?

Your suspicions are correct. Many companies pay reviewers to post excellent reviews. Craig's List often carries ads by companies looking to hire reviewers. Companies ask reviewers to write a review and send the review to them before posting. If the company likes the review, they will tell the reviewer to post the review. The reviewer is typically paid $25 for an excellent review. So, if you want to believe a review, look for ones that are less than perfect; 4 star or 3 star rather than 5 star.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Can't type in form

Answer Man

I was trying to type in an on-line application form, but no type appeared. My word processing program is LibreOffice. Am I doing something wrong?

I suspect that you are using an old version of LibreOffice that doesn't support the application form. Download the latest version at libreoffice.org, and try completing the application again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Printer not working

Answer Man

I just installed new printer ink cartridges but one of the colors doesn't work. Any suggestions?

Most printers have a tool that cleans the print heads. Run the tool, and if the printer still doesn't print that color, run the cleaner again. If after three cleanings you are still encountering problems, you'll need a new cartridge, a new print heat or a new printer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Send documents to Kindle

Answer Man

I have an old Kindle e-reader that doesn't have a USB port. I understand that I can send documents to the reader. How do I do it?

You send the document as an e-mail attachment to your account at Kindle.com. The file must be in one of the following formats:

  • Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX), HTML (.HTML, .HTM), RTF (.RTF) , Text (.TXT), JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
  • Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW), GIF (.GIF), PNG (.PNG), BMP (.BMP), PDF (.PDF)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Component failure rate

Answer Man

I'm curious.  What computer components fail most often?

According to one study I've seen, the results are as follows:

Motherboards - 8%
Graphics Card - 0%
Memory- 24%
Hard Drive - 24%
Power Supply - 35%
Disk Drive - 6%

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hard drive selection

Answer Man

I need to buy a new computer, and I see that the bigger the hard drive the more the computers generally cost. How big should the hard drive be for personal use?

The hard drive is often the most expensive component in a computer. New computers generally come with 320 GB or larger hard drives. Some are coming with 2 and 3 Terabyte drives. My guess is that you probably can get by with a 320 GB drive very easily. My main computer has a 500 GB drive, and although I have 6000 photos and dozens of computer programs, I have only used 109 GB or about 1/5th of the drive capacity. You would need the larger drives if you do a great deal of video editing, are an avid gamer or store an enormous number of photos.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Greeting card program

Answer Man

I would like to create my own greeting cards using my computer. Do you know of a good greeting card program?

There are many good ones, but I have been using The Print Shop by Broderbund for many years, and have been very happy with the results. You can purchase a new version (#23) http://www.broderbund.com/p-145-the-print-shop-231-deluxe.aspx, but it sells for nearly $40. Many older versions are available on-line from Amazon and elsewhere for as little as $10. I am using version 20. The programs will work well with plain card stock and off the shelf envelopes.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wireless printers

Answer Man

I need to buy a new printer. I noticed that some printers are wired and some are wireless. Why might I need a wireless printer?

If you have one computer and one printer, you probably want to wire the printer directly to your computer, and wouldn't need a wireless printer. If you have a tablet that you'd like to operate from your easy chair and need to print, a wireless printer would serve your purpose. Some users have two or more computers and one printer. That would be the typical situation in a small office, and a wireless printer would be good to have in that scenario.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Coupon printing

Answer Man

My printer works most of the time, but I'm having a terrible time trying to print a coupon from the Internet. Any suggestions?

Drag the mouse across the coupon so that it is highlighted. Hold down the CTRL key on the keyboard and press the letter C to copy the coupon to the clipboard. Open up Microsoft Word or Libreoffice Writer. Click in the main area where you would normally type a letter. Hold down the CTRL key and press the letter V to paste the coupon in the blank space. Click on File and Print.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Favorite Free Programs

Answer Man

You have often said that you are a great believer in free programs. Would you please list some of your favorites?

Here are a few of them:

Libreoffice, libreoffice.org
Spybot Search and Destroy, www.safer-networking.org/dl/

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