Thursday, December 31, 2015

My keyboard is erratic.

Answer Man

Sometimes, my keyboard types the wrong letters, no letters or repeats letters. It seems to have a mind of its own. Is it time for a new keyboard?

It may be, but before you toss the keyboard, try these steps. Hold the keyboard upside down and lightly smack the back with your hand. Turn the keyboard right side up and liberally spray the keys with compressed air (you can buy canned air at all computer stores). Try a different USB port. The ports in the rear of a computer are normally more powerful.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How do I activate Windows 10?

Answer Man

My computer, running Windows 10, crashed, so I re-installed the operating system using Microsoft's Media Creation Tool. Everything works perfectly, but I see a notice that Windows is not activated. What must I do to activate Windows?

Since the Media Creation Tool is generic, and can be put into any computer, Microsoft doesn't know whether you have a legitimate copy of Windows. You must type in the product activation code from the sticker on the back or side or your computer. Click Start. Then click on the manila folder on the taskbar (file explorer). Right click on This PC. Left click on Properties. Left click on Change Product Key. Type in the key from the sticker.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Saving Windows 10 to USB

Answer Man

Always, in the past, I was able to download an ISO file for operating systems like Windows 8. I don't find any files like that for Windows 10. I'm afraid that Windows 10 may crash, and I want to create a copy on disk or USB. How do I do that?

Go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
  1. Run the media creation tool.
  2. Select Create installation media for another PC.
  3. Choose the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10.
  4. Follow the steps to create the installation media, and then select Finish when it’s done.
  5. When you’re ready to perform a clean installation, turn on your PC, insert the DVD or USB flash drive you created, and then shut down your PC.
  6. Restart your PC, and then press any key to boot from the DVD or USB flash drive.

Monday, December 28, 2015

I spilled a Coke on my keyboard

Answer Man

I recently spilled a Coke on my laptop keyboard. I don't want to spend a fortune to have the laptop repaired. Is it difficult and/or expensive to replace the keyboard myself?

Replacement can be very simple and relatively inexpensive. Most laptops have a narrow strip of plastic nearest the screen that can be pried up to reveal three or 4 screws that hold in the keyboard. Once the screws have been removed, slowly tilt the keyboard away from the computer. The keyboard will be connected to the computer via a wide flat ribbon cable. Be very careful in releasing the cable from the lock on the computer, as the connector is easily broken. Install the new keyboard using the reverse procedure. I suggest that you look on YouTube for videos about the procedure for your specific laptop.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Can you explain Windows activation?

Answer Man

Please explain Windows activation.

Microsoft tries to prevent users from copying and selling Microsoft software. The company does that through the process of activation. If you have a legitimate copy of their software, a notice appears on the computer that the software has been activated. If the copy is bogus, you probably will see a nag that says the software has not been activated and that you have 3 days to begin activation. If your computer is running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, it will automatically activate for Windows 10 when you update the computer.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The sound coming from the speakers is too low

Answer Man

The sound coming from my computer speakers is so low that I can hardly hear them. The volume, in the little speaker icon on the task-bar, is as high as I can set it. Is there anything else I can do?

I suspect that you have non-amplified speakers. Most speakers that you can purchase today are of the amplified type. If the speakers themselves have a volume control, you have the amplified type. If you have the amplified type and still have low sound, I would purchase another speaker set. See if you can find what impedance (internal resistance) the computer requires. Typical speaker impedance is 4, 8 or 16 ohms. If the impedance of the speaker does not match the impedance of the computer, sound output may be low.

Friday, December 25, 2015

PDF on an e-reader

Answer Man

I would like to be able to read my smart phone manual and my car manual on my e-reader. Is that possible?

Yes it is, however, manuals are typically in portable document format (PDF), and those files are often more difficult to read because the lines of type may overlap the borders of the reader which means that the reader has to scroll back and forth to read. That can be a real pain. You will probably find that the format will be fine in portrait mode but difficult to read in landscape.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Can you explain Internet speeds?

Answer Man

I know that Internet service providers sell the Internet based on speed. What is slow. What is fast, and when do I need one or the other?

Internet pricing is generally based on download speed. Let us say that you want to obtain Windows 10 from Microsoft. To do so, you need to download the program from Microsoft to your computer. Windows 10 is a large group of files, so the faster the download speed, the faster you will be able to get the program into your computer.

Years ago, speeds were so slow that you would not be able to download Windows 10. Download speeds today generally range from approximately 3 Megabits per second to 50. Normally, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) will sell the speed in tiers such as 1-4 Mbps, 4-6, 6-10, etc. You can get by using the slowest speeds, but if you do a lot of downloading, you may become very frustrated unless you upgrade the service.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I can't see the letters on the keyboard

Answer Man

My eyesight is failing, and I am having great difficulty in reading the letters on the keyboard. Is there a way to see the letters better?

You have several options. You can purchase a keyboard with over-sized letters. You can purchase a back-lighted keyboard. You can purchase larger adhesive letters that can be placed over the letters on your keyboard. I suggest that you contact Freedom Scientific freedomscientific.com for more suggestions and specialized equipment.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My monitor has 3 different connectors

Answer Man

I just purchased a new monitor. It came with a power cord buy without the cord to connect it to the computer. There are 3 different connectors. What kind of cable to I buy and why?

Monitor connections have evolved over the years, the latest is HDMI. The type before that is DVI, and the oldest is VGA. You want to use the latest type if your computer supports it. Many new computers have HDMI connections, but other's don't. Check your computer manual to see which type of connection it has, and buy the cable that will fit that connection.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Updating Windows 10

Answer Man

How do I update Windows 10?

The settings are probably arranged so that Windows 10 will automatically update, but you can do it manually by clicking Start, Settings, Update and Security, Update. If the computer is up to date, you will see a notice to that effect.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

I heard that tablet sales are down

Answer Man

I read that tablet sales are way down and that desktop computers are growing again. Do you know why?

I suspect that people are finding out that desktops are easier to use. It is much easier to type on a full sized keyboard. It is easier to read text on a 21" monitor as opposed to a 7" screen. Still, tablets have their place, and can't be beat for portability. By now, a majority of users probably have both types of computers and despite the low price for many new tablets, the demand for them is down.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Electric car batteries

Answer Man

You recently gave a talk about electric cars, but you never mentioned having to add water to the batteries. Why not?

Newer electric cars, like the Tesla and Nissan Leaf, use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. They are the same type used in laptop computers and cellphones, and do not require water. The first electric cars did require water as they used lead-acid batteries which are still used in golf carts and to start internal combustion engines.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Can't find program in Windows 10

Answer Man

I just installed Windows 10 and can't find CCleaner and other programs that used to be on the computer. How can I locate them?

Click Start, All Apps and then click on a letter above the apps you see. An entire alphabet will appear. Click on the letter of the app you are trying to locate. For example, click on the "C" to look for CCleaner.

Keeping large cables together

Answer Man

Yesterday you mentioned that Velcro straps work well for small cables, but I have large extension cords (50 feet) and the like. The straps are too small for those cables.

Wal-mart sells large cable clamps. The halves of the clamp ratchet together. The clamps come in various sizes. I use them for extension cords, air hoses and anything that is too thick for the Velcro straps.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How can I keep cables organized?

Answer Man

I don't know if others have this problem, but the cables behind my computer look like a rat's nest. I have tried keeping them neat with wire ties, cable ties and rubber bands, and although those solutions work, I'm looking for a better method.

I have tried the solutions you suggested but have found a better way. You can purchase Velcro strips specifically meant as cable ties. They wrap around the cables easily, and are easy to undo. You can purchase the strips at Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot and many other stores. If you buy them in large quantities, they cost very little per strip.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Home prices in my neighborhood

Answer Man

I know that there are some on-line real estate firms where you can find property estimates for your home and for others. Do you know the firms?

I can think of two well known firms fitting your description. One is Zwillow zwillow.com, and the other is Trulia trulia.com.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Where did my documents and photos go?

Answer Man

I just upgraded to Windows 10, and now I can't find my documents, photos and downloads. Where did they hide them?

You can find the items by clicking on the manila folder icon on the taskbar.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Remembering computer connections

Answer Man

I am going to move my computer and printer to a new location, and I'm afraid that I won't know how to reconnect everything correctly? Have you any suggestions to improve my confidence?

Computer connections are not difficult since the connectors are unique or color coded, but you might feel more confident if you labeled each cable. Labeling is particularly important when cables are hidden behind cabinets making it difficult to tell what is connected to what. I use a Brother label maker to put a label on each end of every cable. For example, the Internet connection cable might say: To Router, on one end, and To Ethernet connection on the other. You can plug the USB cables into any USB port on the computer.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

My e-reader runs out of power too quickly

Answer Man

My e-reader is supposed to hold a charge for 9 hours, but it doesn't last that long. Do you suppose that something is wrong with the battery?

Before you start blaming the battery, make these two adjustments: Turn off wi-fi from the settings menu and adjust the brightness downward until it just comfortable. That should greatly increase the longevity.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Executive Board Minutes

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
December 11, 2015

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Ron Kenyon, Bill Cahill, Bob Leiner, Bill Balch, Don Forgette, Elliott Bogart, Bob Kenlay, Linda Tingley and Alan Marcus.

Secretary’s report read by Bob Kenlay. No corrections or additions necessary.

Alan Marcus read the Treasurer's Report. The current balance is $2,550.76.

Linda Tingley had contacted Dunkin Donuts regarding the availability of pre-made coffee for the holiday party. After discussion, it was decided the club would  buy its own coffee and Alan Marcus and Bill Balch will bring their coffee makers for the December party. Bob Kenlay is to contact Richard Tejkl (DOD) to open kitchen at 8AM for party.

Elliott Bogart has acquired computer styluses to be distributed  to Club members at the December meeting.

Alan Marcus questioned the possibility of  having an auction at the monthly meeting. After discussion, it was agreed that the items need to be donated and can be done on a monthly basis.

Alan Marcus presented the possibility of Q&A Forms. Elliott Bogart will bring some paper forms to the next meeting. It was suggested that we ask members to fill out forms, if they have questions.

Ron Kenyon showed the board a new 5-slide Computer Club presentation he created to be used at monthly meetings. It was suggested to encourage members to read our Computer Club blog.

Ron Kenyon questioned whether the Club would be interested in selling the old projector. Ron will investigate into its current value and report to board.

Bill Balch suggested that we might run an education program on Windows 10 in the spring of 2016.

Elliott Bogart would like members to turn in old ID badge holders when they get their new badges.

Linda Tingley questioned Upcoming Presentations for January & February Meeting. Alan Marcus will call Don Zenn, Manager of Staples, for session and suggestions (Smart Phones) for 2016 programs.

Meeting adjourned at 9:30AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bob Kenlay
Secretary

Running legacy programs

Answer Man

I have some old computer games that were not made for Windows 10. Is there a way to find out if they will work with 10?

Yes there is. You need to use the compatibility mode. Here's Microsoft's directions:
To run the Program Compatibility troubleshooter

1. Open the Program Compatibility troubleshooter by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type troubleshooter, and then click Troubleshooting. Under Programs, click Run programs made for previous versions of Windows.

2. Follow the instructions in the troubleshooter.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Send document to Kindle

Answer Man

I just bought a new Kindle e-reader. I have been able to get books from Amazon, but I would like to upload my cell phone manual (which is a pdf) to the reader. How can I do that?

If you search in the settings menu of your Kindle, you should be able to find your assigned email address at Kindle.com. Let's say it is newbie@kindle.com. If you send an email to that address and attach the pdf file to the email, you will have the manual transferred to your kindle in a very short time.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Downloading apps to my android phone

Answer Man

I just got a new android smart phone. I would like to try some apps. Can you tell me how to get them?

You might try downloading one from the Google Play Store. Look for the play store icon on the phone. You may have to click the apps icon to see the store. Find an app you would like. Let's say that it is a measurement converter. Check to see if the word Free is listed. Click on the app to download it. Then click on Install. A new icon should appear on the screen. When you click the icon, the app will open and you should be able to put it to use.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

GPS sends me to all the wrong places

Answer Man

I just purchased my first GPS. Sometimes it is very good, and other times it directs me to the wrong places, tells me to turn left, then right and then to make a u-turn. Is there something wrong with the unit?

Unfortunately, GPS units are far from perfect, and you may know the routes better than they do. I think the problem lies in the fact that the systems want to turn at the first available opportunity, and not necessarily the best opportunity. If you have lifetime updates, update the unit so that you are using the latest maps. That is about all you can do. It also might help if you put in the exact addresses rather thatnrelying on the favorite places that are built into the unit.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dictionary on my desktop

Answer Man

I understand that there is a dictionary that I can download, for free, to my computer so that I don't have to go online to look up words. Do you have the address for the dictionary?

Try http://wordweb.info/free/. There is both a free and a paid version.

Monday, December 7, 2015

My computer keeps adding bloatware

Answer Man

You have mentioned bloatware in the past, and even mentioned programs to get rid of it. Isn't there a program that will stop it from installing?

Indeed there is. It's called unchecky (http://unchecky.com/). Just navigate to the site and install the program. It will stop ad-ons whenever you download a legitimate program.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I got an email from my own email address

Answer Man

I have been getting email that was sent to me from my own email address. I know it is spam. Is there anything I can do to stop the sender?

Unfortunately, someone is spoofing your address, and that email may come from anywhere. There isn't much you can do except to identify the email as spam and have it sent to your spam folder. Then, you can delete all of the spam at one time.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Do desktop computers have batteries?

Answer Man

Is it just a rumor that desktop computers have batteries inside?

No, it is not a rumor. The battery, called a CMOS battery, is generally about the size of a large watch battery. It's purpose is to retain all of the start-up settings of the computer when the power is turned off. Battery life is hard to predict. Some CMOS batteries last a year and some last 10 years. They are inexpensive and easy to replace. If the system clock starts losing time, the battery is probably going down hill.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Printer compatibility

Answer Man

How can I tell if my printer is compatible with Windows 10?

Go to the printer website to see if a driver is available for Windows 8, 8.1 or 10. If the driver is available, the printer will probably work with Windows 10.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Transfer pictures from phone to desktop

Answer Man

I took pictures with my new cell phone, and they appear to be fine, but how do I get them off the camera and on to my computer?

There are two ways to accomplish the task. You can remove the camera card from the camera and insert it into the appropriate camera slot on the computer, or you can use the cable that came with the camera to connect to the computer. Often, the camera must be on for the files to appear when you connect via cable. Look for a folder named DCIM (digital camera images). Then you can copy and paste the images from the camera to your computer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Flash drive works in laptop but not desktop

Answer Man

My flash drive works in my laptop computer but not in my desktop. What can I do to rectify the situation?

It sounds as though you might have a bad USB port on the desktop. Try another port. The ports in the rear of the desktop are normally stronger. Try one of those.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Will Windows be free next year?

Answer Man

Microsoft said Windows 10 will be free for a year for those who currently have computers running Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. When will that year be over?

The year began July 29, 2015. So you must upgrade by July 29th of 2016 to upgrade for free. Those who do not upgrade by then will pay somewhere around $100 for the home version (the price will depend upon where you make the purchase). The pro version will be close to $200.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Difficulty in attaching a PDF file to an email

Answer Man

I have been unable to attach a PDF file to an email. Any suggestions?

The answer is simple. Try using a different browser.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

I lost the password to my iPad. What now?

Answer Man

I lost the password to my iPad. Is my iPad now worthless?

You can restart the iPad and create a new password by using the following procedures:

Install iTunes on a computer. Connect the iPad to the computer. Press the sleep/wake and hold buttons at the same time and hold them down until you see the recovery screen. Then just follow directions.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

What causes hard drives to fail?

Answer Man

What are the causes of hard drive failure?

Hard drive movement during operation is probably the greatest cause. Failure can also be caused by magnets being nearby, too hot or too cold operation and by power failure during file transfer or saving of documents.

Friday, November 27, 2015

How to create a backup

Answer Man

I have never created a backup of my computer. What is the easiest method?

The easiest method would be to use a flash drive. You can buy a 32 gigabyte flash drive for approximately $12. Insert the drive in the computer's USB port. I suggest that you backup the documents and photo folders. Navigate to those folders, press CTRL and A on the keyboard to select all items in the folder. Click on Computer and then the letter of the flash drive. Press CTRL and V on the keyboard to copy the info to the flash drive.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Why can't I use an eraser as a stylus?

Answer Man

I have tried to use a pencil eraser as a stylus for my tablet. It doesn't work. Can you tell me why?

There are two types of touch systems. A resistive touchscreen relies on mechanical pressure and an eraser would work on that type of screen, but most modern devices use capacitive touch screens which rely on electrical conductivity. A stylus has a metal shell that will connect to your hand and therefore will transmit a signal to the touchscreen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What does the term Malware mean?

Answer Man

I keep hearing the term Malware, but I have no idea what it means. Can you explain it?

Symantec has done a much better job at explaining it. Here's their definition:

Malware is an abbreviated term meaning “malicious software”. This is software that is specifically designed to gain access or damage a computer without the knowledge of the owner. There are various types of malware including spyware, keyloggers, true viruses, worms, or any type of malicious code that infiltrates a computer. Generally, software is considered malware based on the intent of the creator rather than its actual features. Malware creation is on the rise due to the sheer volume of new types created daily and the lure of money that can be made through organized internet crime.

Malware was originally created as experiments and pranks, but eventually led to vandalism and destruction of targeted machines. Today, much of malware is created for profit through forced advertising (adware), stealing sensitive information (spyware), spreading emailspam or child pornography (zombie computers), or to extort money (ransomware). Various factors can make computers more vulnerable to malware attacks, including defects in the operating system design, having all of the computers on a network run the same OS, giving users to much permissions or just using the Windows OS (due to its popularity, it gets the most malware written for it).

The best protection from malware continues to be the usual advice: be careful about what email attachments you open, be cautious when surfing and stay away from suspicious websites, and install and maintain an updated, quality antivirus program.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How do I get into the Control Panel in Windows 10?

Answer Man

I switched to Windows 10. Now I can't find the Control Panel. Is there an easy way to find it?

Right click on the start button in the lower left of the screen (it looks like 4 white window panes). The Control Panel and many other utilities will appear.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wireless mouse won't work

Answer Man

I bought a new wireless mouse and plugged it into my computer, but it didn't work. I changed the batteries and it still didn't work. What am I doing wrong?

The mouse transmitter must be plugged into the USB port before you start the computer. Re-start the computer, and your mouse should work.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Can't print from Decca Mail

Answer Man

Since Decca switched email providers, I have had difficulty printing emails. Can you suggest a solution?

When emails won't print, select the email by highlighting and copying or by using CTRL + A to select all. Then use CTRL + C to copy. Open Word, Word Perfect, Word Pad or some other word processing program and press CTRL + V to paste the email into the word processing page. Then click File and Print.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tell me about cruise ship wi-fi connections.

Answer Man

I am planning to go on a cruise and would like to have access to the Internet. I have heard that Internet access aboard ship is very expensive. Any suggestions?

You are correct. Cruise ship Wi-Fi is costly. I recently returned from a Royal Caribbean Cruise. The cost of Wi-Fi was 65 cents a minute or $20 for a day. The ship published a warning saying that the connection was slow. Several passengers told me that the connection was so slow that it was a joke.

I suggest that you do what many of the crew do. Wait until the ship is in port. Most port terminals provide free Wi-Fi, and it is much faster than the ship's.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Should I update to Windows 10?

Answer Man

I have a Windows 7 machine and am seeing nags about upgrading to Windows 10. Friends have told me they encountered problems doing the upgrade. Should I hold off?

I have installed Windows 10 on eight machines without difficulty, however, I did not do it through the normal upgrade process which seems to cause some problems. Instead, I did a search for the Microsoft Media Creation Tool, chose either the 32 bit or 64 bit version, downloaded the program and ran it. If you use the creation tool method, just be aware that the installation process may take a long time.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Will a new operating system rectify problems?

Answer Man

My computer is slow and buggy. Will installation of a new computer operating system rectify those problems?

The problems will only be rectified if the problems are within the operating system itself. If there are other causes, the problems will continue, although the computer might be somewhat faster. The surest method of improving slow and buggy computers is to wipe the disk and re-install the operating system. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, hire someone else to do it for you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Slow Computer

Answer Man

My computer has slowed to a crawl. What will speed it up?

Computers slow down for a variety of reasons. Here are some of them: too many programs checked in the start menu; too little memory; hard drive near capacity. If those problems have been rectified, I would suspect viruses or malware causes. Install and run Malwarebytes, Ccleaner and Spybot search and Destroy, and your computer should speed up. If none of these solutions work, wipe the disk and re-install the operating system.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Is there a way to stop people from controlling my computer?

Answer Man

I have heard all the stories about how someone calls, pretends they're from Microsoft and takes control of your computer. Is there a way to prevent them from taking over?

The first rule is to hang up if they say they are from Microsoft. Microsoft doesn't call users. The next thing you can do is to turn off remote access software (RAT) that is part of Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. To do that, click Control Panel. Then type "Remote" in the little search box in the upper right of the screen. Click on "Allow remote access to this screen". Then click the box to prevent access.

There are other free RATs, such as Team Viewer. Do not let anyone put that software on your computer unless you want them to control your computer.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Is there a way to minimize several open windows at one time?

Answer Man

Is there a way to minimize several open windows at one time?

Hold down the Windows key on the keyboard and press the letter D. All open windows will minimize.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Can Safari be used with Windows?

Answer Man

I understand that the new Apple Safari browser is terrific. Can I use it with a Windows machine?

Absolutely! You can have several different browsers and can switch between them. I use Edge, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Safari. They all work well and all have advantages and disadvantages.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Should I upgrade the computer processor?

Answer Man

My computer is running slow. Should I upgrade the processor?

Do not try to upgrade the processor. Processors are designed to mate with certain motherboards. If your computer is running slow, and you want to upgrade the hardware, start by adding memory. You could also switch to a solid state drive.

Friday, November 13, 2015

ORCC Board Minutes November, 2015

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Bob Leiner, Bob Norton, Ron Kenyon, Linda Tingley, Don Forgette, Elliott Bogart, Alan Marcus and Bill Cahill

The minutes of the last board meeting were read and approved. There were no corrections or additions. Bob Norton read the Treasurer's Report. The current balance is $2385.81.

Linda Tingley moved that the Club begin distributing four $25 gift cards at monthly meetings. Bill Cahill seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Elliott Bogart suggested that Bob Norton be given several drawing tickets to be distributed to new members as they join the Club in order to make the new members immediately eligible for the drawing.

Bob Norton suggested that we try to replace Carol Norton as Secretary as she is engaged in several other activities and is having difficulties attending Board meetings.

Since the speaker from Best Buy is unable to give the planned November presentation, Alan Marcus said that he is willing to give a presentation about the use of technology in electric cars. No program is presently planned for January. We will ask Don Zenn, Manager of Staples, to talk about smart phones.

Linda Tingley will contact Dunkin Donuts regarding the availability of pre-made coffee for the holiday party.

Elliott Bogart suggested that the Club distribute computer styluses to members at the December meeting. Motion seconded by Alan Marcus and approved.

The meeting adjourned at 9:45AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Alan Marcus, Acting Secretary

Is there a quick way to find the speed of my processor?

Answer Man

Is there a quick way to see the speed of my processor, how much RAM the computer has and whether the processor is a 32 bit or 64 bit?

Press the Windows key on the keyboard and the Pause key at the same time.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I can't find safe mode in Windows 10

Answer Man

I have always been able to get into safe mode by pressing F8. That doesn't seem to work in Windows 10. How do I get there with 10?

Click Start, Settings, Advanced Startup, Restart Now. You will see Safe Mode in the restart now list.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is there a free genealogy program available for every state?

Answer Man

I understand that there is a free genealogy program available for every state. Can you tell me anything about the program?

Genweb has been around for 20 years. Volunteers have made genealogy information available for every state. Click on this link http://www.usgenweb.org/ to learn about the program and to pursue your genealogical search by state.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Is it possible to print several different files with one command?

Answer Man

I often want to print multiple files. It's time consuming to have to click on each one and wait for the printing to be complete before printing the next one. Is it possible to issue one command to have them all print even though they open with different programs?

Yes it is possible. Open the folder containing the files. Select as many files as you wish (CTRL + A for all of them) and right click on one of the files and select Print. All the selected files will be sent to the printer even if they open with different programs.

Monday, November 9, 2015

My computer turned off by itself

Answer Man

My computer turned off by itself and did not restart. What caused it, and what do I do now?

There could be many causes, but the most likely is excess heat. If the computer is a laptop, make certain that the fan turns and that the computer is on a hard surface so that the fan can get rid of the heat. Other causes for the problem could be component failure, need to re-install the operating system and malware.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Is there a site where I can compare rates banks pay?

Answer Man

I have two questions. First, is there a site that will let the user compare rates banks pay online? My second questions is, do you think online banking is safe?

There are several sites that let you compare rates. I particularly like bankrate.com. Most of the online banks are FDIC insured and should therefore be relatively safe.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

If I install Windows 10, can I go back to Windows 7?

Answer Man

I'm thinking about installing Windows 10. If it doesn't work out to my satisfaction, can I turn the computer back to Windows 7?

You can, but you have just 30 days to do so. After you install 10, click Start, Settings, Recovery. You will be presented with a screen that lets you revert to Windows 7 or 8.1 if you had them prior to Windows 10.

Friday, November 6, 2015

PDF files open in Chrome not in my reader

Answer Man

Every time I open Chrome it opens with a PDF file about Windows 10. I have a PDF reader, but the PDFs keep opening in Chrome instead. Can I change this action?

It sounds as though you have a PDF plug-in added on to the Chrome Browser. Go into Chrome. Click the three horizontal lines at the top right. Click Settings, and Extensions. Click the trash can icon by the extension you's like to delete.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My browser no longer takes me to Google

Answer Man

When I used to click on Google Chrome, I was taken to a Google search bar. Now, I'm being taken to a site I never heard of. What's going on?

That's a sure sign that your browser has been hijacked. I'll bet you downloaded some free program and didn't notice that browser add-ons were also being downloaded. You need to go into browser settings and change things back to the default settings. In Chrome, you do that by clicking on the three horizontal line icon in the top right of your screen. Click "Settings" and change the On Startup and Search settings to read Google.com.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What do CC and BCC mean in my Yahoo mail?

Answer Man

Yahoo mail has abbreviations CC and BCC. What do they mean, and how do you use them?

Years ago, in the age of typewriters, if you wanted to make a copy of what you were typing, you inserted carbon paper between sheets of paper. When you typed on the top copy, an image transferred to the sheets below. The secondary sheets were called carbon copies or CC for short.
Today, if you type email addresses under CC, those in the CC list get a copy of the original. If you don't want the recipient names to appear on the email, type the e-mail addresses under BCC (blind carbon copy). You can address the original to your own e-mail address. That way, no other addresses will show up on the received emails.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Can you suggest an XP replacement?

Answer Man

I have an old XP machine that works well, but I know that just about all companies have ceased support for XP. It may be open to viruses and malware. Can you suggest what I might do to salvage an otherwise good machine?

I have installed various linux versions on old XP machines, and am very happy with the result. Early XP machines have limited RAM and small hard drives, so you must install earlier versions of linux on those machines. I have found that linux mint 10 will run on just about any machine.

You can find the operating system here: http://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=15

Monday, November 2, 2015

What's the difference between DVD+R and DVD-R?

Answer Man

What's the difference between DVD+R and DVD-R?

The -R is an older format, and some consider the +R superior, but either will work fine, and you won't recognize any difference. However, I would advise that you not use the DVD-RW (re-writable disks) as not all players will play them, and the disks tend to degrade over time.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Can I print from a tablet?

Answer Man

Can I print from a tablet?

Yes you can, but the procedure varies from tablet to tablet. If you have an android tablet, download the Google print app from the Google Play store and then follow instructions.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Do I need a router for a tablet?

Answer Man

I'm old and decrepit and my grandchildren thought they would do me a favor, so they bought a tablet computer for me. I already have a laptop. Now I have been told that I can't use the tablet without a router. What's a router, and do I need one?

If you only want to play some games on your tablet, you don't need a router. If you want to check email and search the Internet, you do need a router. A wireless router broadcasts a signal (Wi-Fi) over a couple of hundred feet. Tablets and other wireless devices can pick up that signal and access the Internet. So, you can sit in your easy chair and check your email from your tablet.

Friday, October 30, 2015

I got an email telling me to upgrade to Windows 10

Answer Man

I am thinking of upgrading to Windows 10 and recently received an email with an attachment to upgrade. Is it legitimate?

No it is not. It's one of the latest scams. It's no different than the phone calls you get that claim the caller is with Windows Technical Support. If you follow either scam, the scammers will lock up your computer and demand a ransom. True Windows 10 upgrades will come through a little white icon on your taskbar or through the Microsoft update process. You can also download the media creation tool and install Windows 10 that way.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Can I tell if an icon is a program or a shortcut?

Answer Man

Some of the icons on the desktop have little curved arrows on them and some don't. Can you tell me why?

The ones with the arrows, or checks are shortcuts. They only direct the user to programs. The other icons may be files, documents, photos, etc.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Can I change fonts and colors in Yahoo email?

Answer Man

Is there a way to change the fonts, centering and colors in Yahoo email?

Yes there is. Click Compose to create a new email. Type what you like and then look at the bottom of the page. Click on the capital A in a square block to select different font or background colors. Click on the capital B for Bold. You can also select font style and size, centering, etc.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to retrieve OOMA voicemail

Answer Man

I just purchased OOMA, the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) device to make phone calls. It works well, but I don't understand how to get voicemail.

There are two ways. Both are easy. One way is to pick up the phone handset and press the triangle shaped button on the device. You will be presented with a menu that is easy to follow. Your messages will be played back to you. The other method is to type "Myooma.com" into your computer browser window. Then click on "Voicemail". A list of calls will appear. Click on any one to hear the message from that caller.

Monday, October 26, 2015

PDF files open in Chrome instead of reader

Answer Man

Whenever I open my Chrome browser, it opens with a PDF file about Windows 10. How can I stop that from happening?

It sounds as though you have an add-on in Chrome. Click on the three horizontal lines at the top right of the Chrome browser. Select "Settings". Click on Extensions. Remove the PDF extension and that should solve the problem.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How can I brighten my Kindle screen?

Answer Man

I have one of the first Kindle e-readers. I love it, but the screen is pretty dim and hard to read in many locations. Is there a way to brighten the screen?

I'm sorry to have to tell you that there is no way to brighten the screen. You have a couple of options, however. You could buy an external clip on lamp or buy a newer Kindle with a back-lit screen. If you only want a reader, and not a tablet, I suggest you purchase the very bright Kindle Paper-White which is much brighter than the early Kindles.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Show photos in slide show in Windows 10

Answer Man

How can I show a series of pictures in a slideshow format in Windows 10?

Click on File Explorer (The manila folder on the taskbar). Click on Pictures. Select the pictures you want in the show (Hold down the CTRL key while you click on the pictures you want to include). Click Manage and then choose Slideshow.

Friday, October 23, 2015

ENG and DVR appear on taskbar

Answer Man

The taskbar on my computer shows ENG and DVR by the clock on the taskbar. I have to right click to make it stay on English. Is there a way to get out of this cycle?

It appears that another language was installed on the computer. Right click on the start and choose the control panel. Left click on Clock Region and Language. Click on the language you don't want and select Remove.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Small icons on control panel are difficult to read

Answer Man

I often use the control panel to access printers, sound levels, etc. Recently, however, the control panel show a long list of tiny icons, and I can't find anything. Is there a way to see the traditional list of items?

Right click on the start icon and then left click on control panel. Then, look in the upper right of the screen for "View by". You will be given three choices. The traditional view is the category view. You can also choose "large icons" or "small icons".



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

3 Search Sites That Don't Track You Like Google Does

When you need to get information or find something online, chances are you go to Google. But while Google is great at Web searches, it’s hardly stellar when it comes to privacy. It saves your search history, scans your Gmail, tracks your location, keeps everything you say to “OK Google,” and a lot more.

Google does this partly to make its services more useful to you, by knowing what you want before you want it. But it also does it so it can serve you ads targeted just for you. Google also owns the digital ad network DoubleClick, which serves those interest-based ads.

Aside from blatant ad targeting, Google also filters results for you based on your search history. This "filter bubble" means that you and a family member can search for the same term, but come up with different results. To be fair, Google does let you wipe your search history, but it's always going to be trying to put two and two together.

If you're tired of Google and its lax view of privacy, here are three private search sites that don't track you. Check them all to find the one that's best for you.


DuckDuckGo is a solid Google replacement that doesn't track or target your IP address or search history. You don't have to worry about targeted search results or being trapped in a filter bubble, which actually means you get more results.

DuckDuckGo includes the nifty calculators and other tricks you've come to expect on Google, but that's not all. You can customize its interface, with search shortcuts and an Instant Answers feature that's just as good as, if not better than, Google's Knowledge Graph. You can also make DuckDuckGo an extension of your browser and activate more privacy settings to keep your search history as protected as possible.


Yippy automatically detects and blocks adult content, including pornography, gambling sites, sex product sites and other websites that are not appropriate for kids. Plus, the site protects your privacy.

It will not collect personally identifiable information about you, like your name, telephone number, address and email address. It may collect anonymous information about your computer, though, such as your IP address. It also uses cookies, but not to track your personal behavior.


Ixquick calls itself the world's most private search site. It doesn't record your IP address, browser information or search history, so advertisers can't track you. Ixquick also keeps you out of filter bubbles, so you can get the search results you're looking for.

It also gives you the privacy of searching via proxy, so the sites you visit don't even know your real IP address. This is similar to Tor, but without the hassle of setting it up. Ixquick's proxy option gives you the most online privacy. It may slow down your searches, but when you select "proxy," Ixquick makes you invisible online.



Even if you minimize your use of Google, it's not the only company collecting your information and using it in scary ways. Facebook and hundreds of other sites track and share what you do.

Credit: foxnews.com/tech/, Kim Komando

Blue screen with number to call

Answer Man

A blue screen popped up on my computer, and there was a number to call to resolve issues with the machine. Does this sound like a scam to you?

It most certainly is a scam. Microsoft doesn't call, and their blue screen of death doesn't list phone numbers. See if you can exit the screen by pressing CTRL, ALT and DEL at the same time. If you can, click "Task Manager" and then "Startup". Disable all the running processes and re-start your computer. If that doesn't solve the problem, press the Recovery function key listed as the computer boots. HP computers normally use F11. Then restore your computer to an earlier point.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My HP laptop loses connectivity

Answer Man

My HP laptop frequently loses connectivity. It's not a problem with my router, as my desktop stays connected. Do you have a solution?

Some HP models have had that problem. The easy solution is to uninstall the network adapter and then re-install it. To do so, type "device driver" in the search box. In device driver, select network adapters. Right click on the adapter and click uninstall. When you re-start the computer, the driver will re-install.

Monday, October 19, 2015

I can't open email attachments in Windows 10

Answer Man

Whenever I try to open email attachments in Windows 10, there's a message that says I have to have Microsoft Office. Is there a way around that?

Type "Default Programs" in the search box. Then click on default app. Select "Set your default programs". Choose a different program to open the attachments. If you don't have another program, I suggest that you download the free LibreOffice at libreoffice.org and use that as the default.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

How do I add a column in Excel 2013?

Answer Man

I have used spreadsheets for years, but the 2013 version of Excel has me stumped. I need to add a column to my spreadsheet. The directions left me thoroughly confused. Do you know how to add a column?

I agree. The directions are horrendous. They really don't provide the answer, but the procedure is simple. Click on the topmost cell of a column to the right of where you want the new column to be. Right click the mouse and click Insert. That's all there is to it. Why couldn't Microsoft tell you that?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

How do I get rid of Optimizer Pro?

Answer Man

My computer frequently displays pop-ups from Optimizer Pro. It says I have 4332 infected files on my computer? I know that it is probably bogus, but how do I get rid of it?

Any program other than anti-virus programs and anti-malware programs that you intentionally installed, that tell you your computer is infected , is bogus. Also remember that people who call you to tell you that your computer is infected have no way of knowing that. Hang up immediately!

To rid the computer of Optimizer Pro and similar annoying programs, uninstall the program. Then run an anti-malware programs such as malwarebytes:

Friday, October 16, 2015

I can't understand the Wal-Mart ordering system

Answer Man

I don't know whether there is something wrong with me or with Wal-Mart. The store has a certain brand of socks that I prefer, but when I went to two Ocala stores, the socks weren't in stock. I decided to check online to see if Wal-Mart was still carrying the socks. They showed them in their online catalog, so I ordered two pair. One of the options given was to pick up the order at the store, and I chose that option. Then I got a notice that my order was cancelled because there were no socks in my local store. I thought the whole purpose of ordering online was to get them if they weren't in the store. Am I missing something?

I think who ever designed Wal-Mart's online ordering system wasn't thinking. It makes no sense to order online and then go pick up the merchandise at the store if you can just go to the store and get the merchandise in the first place. If you want the socks, you have to pick their other option. That means that you pay extra for the shipping, and the merchandise is sent directly to you.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What are preview builds?

Answer Man

I keep seeing blurbs about Insider Preview Builds. Can you explain what they are?

Sure I can. Microsoft decided that Windows 10 would be a much better system if techies were given copies of the latest beta test operating system (builds) to evaluate. The techies were asked to send their feedback to Microsoft so the product could be improved before being sent to the general public. The techies could select a fast or slow build. The slow builds would still be beta but they would be tested more before being sent out. The idea has proven to be of great benefit to Microsoft, and a much better product has been the result.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I updated my computer but it just keeps cycling

Answer Man

A new update downloaded from Microsoft to my Windows 10 computer, and now the computer begins to start, and shows the little cycling circle, but then goes right back to the start again. It would do this forever if I let it. What can I do?

Well, hopefully you created an emergency start up disk or emergency USB flash drive. If you did, insert one or the other. As the computer starts, press the proper key for your computer to enter the boot sequence and have the flash drive or CD boot first. The computer should boot. Click on Reset. Try the first choice (preserving your files). If that doesn't work, try reset without your files. The computer should reset and all will be good to go.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I can't connect my computer to the Internet

Answer Man

My new computer (running Windows 10) suddenly won't connect to the Internet. I know the Wi-Fi is working because my wife can get into the Internet using her computer. What should I do?

Perhaps the first thing to try is to restore your computer to an earlier point. In Windows 10, type recovery in the search box at the bottom of the screen. Then click on System Restore. Then click Next. Restore can take a long time, so give your computer some slack.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Replacing an existing computer drive with a solid state drive

Answer Man

I have a desktop computer that has an old slow drive. I understand that solid state drives (SSDs) are faster and more reliable. Is it possible to just switch drives?

It may be possible to simply switch drives, however, you must know what type of drives are in the existing machine. Two types of drives exist; PATA (parallel ATA) and SATA (serial ATA). The parallel drives are older and use different connectors. Solid state drives are all SATA and therefore can only be used in place of other SATA drives.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Different video connections

Answer Man

I just bought a new desktop computer. When I tried to connect it to my existing monitor, I found that none of the connections would work. Do I have to buy a new monitor also?

For many years, connections were made between computers and monitors using a type of connection called VGA (Video Graphics Adapter). The connectors were usually blue on the end and had 15 pins. Then manufacturers started using DVI (Digital Video Interface) cables, that were normally white on the ends and had a different arrangement of pins. And, most recently, computers and monitors were made with HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connections that combined audio and video. If computer and monitor do not have the same types of connectors, you must purchase adapter cables or buy new equipment.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Will external speakers improve the sound?

Answer Man

I have a small laptop with tinny sounding speakers. Will I improve the sound by using external speakers?

You can vastly improve the quality and volume of the sound by using external speakers. Most speakers contain amplifiers, so very little input can result in greatly enhanced output.

Friday, October 9, 2015

ORCC Board Minutes, October 9, 2015

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
October 9, 2015

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00 am. Members in attendance: Bill Balch, Elliott Bogart, Alan Marcus, Bob Norton, Linda Tingley, Bill Cahill, Bob Kenlay and Don Forgette.

The secretary's report was read by Alan Marcus. There were no corrections or additions. Bob Norton read the Treasurer's Report. The current balance is $2,149.45.

Bob Kenlay and Don Forgette were welcomed to the Board.

Alan Marcus stated that the Virgin Mobile Hotspot the Club purchased was not working out well. It seems there is difficulty in finding the $5 cards for the device. Bob Kenlay said he was willing to use his ATT phone as a hotspot at the meetings so we would always have an Internet connection. Elliott Bogart moved that we reimburse Bob Kenlay for Internet use if Bob feels the cost getting out of hand. Bill Balch seconded the motion. The motion passed. Alan Marcus will search for $5 Virgin Mobile cards so that the Club's hotspot can be used when Bob Kenlay is not available.

Bill Cahill moved that we conduct an electronics auction at the December meeting. Bob Norton seconded the motion. Motion approved. Linda Tingley will inform members of the auction through her media sources.

Don Forgette suggested that we might run a program in which 5 or 10 of our members talk about their favorite apps.

Don Forgette suggested that we find out from Ron Kenyon how members might ask questions and have them appear on the blog (other than in the comments section). Bob Kenlay will get with Ron Kenyon to see how he could assist Ron in promoting the blog. It was further suggested that we have some sort of blog walk-through at the meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 10:00AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Alan Marcus, Acting Secretary

Will my existing programs transfer to 10?

Answer Man

I am considering the installation of Windows 10 but wonder if my existing programs will transfer.

I have installed Windows 10 on several computers. In each case, all of my existing documents, downloads, pictures and programs have transferred without difficulty. However, you may have some old legacy programs, perhaps from the days of Windows 85 or XP, that may not work with Windows 10.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Are smaller computers less reliable?

Answer Man

Is it true that smaller computers are less reliable?

You would think that would be a myth, but it happens to be true according to Consumer Reports. I suppose that the reason is that it is more difficult to cool compact computers. So, if you want to ensure reliability, buy a full sized tower computer.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How can I get coupons for local restaurants?

Answer Man

I know that there are lots of coupon sites on the Internet, but I'm afraid that if I use them I will be bombarded with ads of all kinds. Is there a way to get coupons directly from the restaurants that I like?

Yes there is. Let's say that you want to receive coupons from Bob Evan's restaurants. Go to the restaurant site and find out how you can be placed on their mailing list. Whenever they have a special, you will receive a coupon. Most of the big chain restaurants have similar programs.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Time too limited for library Internet

Answer Man

I'm a snowbird and therefore don't want to install Wi-Fi in my home here. I know I can use my laptop at the Freedom Library, but they limit the user to 30 minutes. I need much more time than that. Can you offer any suggestions regarding how I might get more time?

I know the library has a 30 minute time limit, but it has been my experience that if any of their computers are not in use, they will add time to your computer. When your machine is down to the last few minutes, you will see a pop-up that will show how much time has been added. The last time I was in the library, I used one of their computer for almost two hours, and could have stayed on longer if I had desired to do so.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Can I update Windows 10 manually?

Answer Man

Is there a way to manually update Windows 10?

Click Start, Settings, Update and Security. If there are any pending updates, they will begin to install. If there are no updates, you will see a notice telling you that the computer is up to date.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

I bought a Kindle, but can't download the books

Answer Man

I bought a new Kindle e-reader. I do not have a router, and hence have no wireless. I have tried to download books from the Marion County Library without success. Can you tell me how to download to the Kindle?

Connect your Kindle to your computer via USB. Go to the library website and checkout the e-books you want. You will be redirected to Amazon. Click in the boxes before the books you want to download from Amazon. Click on the download box to tell Amazon you are connected by USB cable and want to download the books. The books will be transferred to the download folder on your computer. Hi-light the books and copy them with CTRL and C. Click Start, Computer, and then on the Kindle. Click on Documents (within the Kindle folder) and do a CTRL V to paste the books into the Kindle. Wait a minute or two. Unplug the Kindle from the computer. Check to see if the books show up on the Kindle.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Should I upgrade from Windows 7?

Answer Man

My computer runs Windows 7. I'm quite happy with the system, but I recently received a notice that I could upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost. Do you think I should do the upgrade?

The choice is yours. Microsoft will provide the opportunity to upgrade for free for one year. After that, it will cost $119. I opted for the upgrade on my own computers, and I have been happy with Windows 10. Windows 10 is different, so you will have a little bit of a learning curve. If you run into problems with the upgrade, there are plenty of people in the Club who can help you solve installation problems. If you want the latest and greatest, upgrade!

Friday, October 2, 2015

A computer game started behaving weirdly

Answer Man

I use a great solitaire program called 123. Normally, the user can select the solitaire game from a list of different solitaire games. Now the program won't leave Klondike solitaire, so I can't play Freecell and some of the other games I like. What could be wrong?

Programs get corrupted for a variety of reasons, and it sounds like your solitaire program is corrupted. The best thing to do in such circumstances is to uninstall the program and then reinstall it. I'm willing to bet that you will be able to get into Freecell and other games after the reinstallation.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What are apps?

Answer Man

I'm from the old school. I don't own a smart phone. I keep hearing about apps, but I have no idea what they are or what you do with them. Can you explain what they are?

The term 'apps' is short for applications. Apps can be added to computers, phones, tablets, etc. Let's say that you have a Windows 10 PC, and you want to add a favorite solitaire game. The game is an app. In Windows 10, click the start button and then click near the bottom of the screen where it says "all apps". A list will appear that shows all of the applications on your computer. The apps may include such items as Skype, Microsoft Word, Amazon, Google Earth, etc.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Telephone says line in use, but it isn't

Answer Man

I am using the OOMA voice over Internet phone system. It has been working fine, but suddenly my phone has a message about a line being in use. All of my phones have been hung up correctly, and the connections seem fine. What can I do?

It sounds as though someone must have bumped the OOMA receiver and upset the connections. You need to reboot the device. Unplug the power cord from the back of the device, and leave the plug out for 30 seconds. Plug the cord back in and wait until the indicator light on the top of the device turns blue. The line in use warning should disappear from the phone, and everything should be good to go.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My computer won't go in to safe mode

Answer Man

I did a dumb thing. I wanted to change the resolution of my Windows 10 computer to the highest number listed. When I did, the screen went blank, and then I saw a message on the screen that the resolution wasn't supported. I couldn't get back to Windows. I held in the start button for 8 seconds and the computer rebooted, but always back to the same warning. I thought I'd try F8 to go into safe mode, but nothing happened. Any suggestions?

Things are a little different in Windows 10. To reach safe mode, you must get into the recovery screen. You can reach it on most computers by tapping F-11 on start up. Once there, click Start-up recovery. Safe mode appears as one of the options.

Must I have a mike to work with Cortana?

Answer Man

Must I have a microphone to access Cortana, the Microsoft voice assistant?

Well, you can type in the search box and accomplish the search tasks, but you will enjoy using Cortana more if you have a mike.  Most newer laptops have a camera and mike built in.  You can also purchase an inexpensive camera/mike that clips on top of a monitor.  And, some people prefer to purchase a combination boom mike/headset. 

My HP printer won't turn on

Answer Man

My HP printer won't turn on. I know the outlet is good, and everything is plugged in.

I have worked with several people who had similar problems. Their printers had a transformer (some people call it a brick) in the center of the power cord. One part of the power cord plugs in to the wall outlet. Another part of the cord plugs into the brick and then runs to the printer. The part that plugs into the brick may look like it's plugged in, but in many cases it is not pushed in firmly. I'll bet that there is nothing wrong with the printer, and that the problem has to do with the connections.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I switched to 10 and can't find anything

 Answer Man

I updated my computer to Windows 10. My favorites are gone, and I can't find anything.

You know, most of us are creatures of habit. If anything changes in our lives, we have a difficult time adjusting. I could be flip and just tell you to live with it. Instead, I suggest that you look at the situation as a challenge in learning something new.

All the browsers have gone to a minimal appearance. So, you have to look around for everything and see where favorites and other familiar items have been hidden. You'll soon get used to the new formats and will find that things aren't quite as bad as you pictured them. In fact, things are probably much better than they were with your old system.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Become an archaeologist from home

Answer Man

I was told that there is a way to search for fossils and become an amateur archaeologist using my home computer. Can you tell me how?

Yes there is such a site. Click on the link below if you'd like to participate. The idea is that by enlisting the use of thousands of eyes, more sites of archaeology importance can be found.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Can I use a TV set as a monitor?

Answer Man

I have a 42" TV. Can I use it as a computer monitor?

Yes you can, and it work well if both your computer and the TV have HDMI connections. I know someone who uses such a TV as his regular monitor. The print and pictures are so large that it make it a joy to use.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Corrupted browser

Answer Man

I use the Google Chrome Browser. I was on some bad sites and the browser starts with some weird search engine. I have gone into settings, but the search engine does not appear there. Is there some way to get rid of it?

I have encountered that same problem. The solution was to uninstall Chrome and then reinstall it.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Get back the site you thought you lost

Answer Man

I use Google Chrome. I visited a site yesterday that I really wanted to remember. Is there a way to find out where I was?

Click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner of Chrome. Click on History. Scroll down through the sites that you have visited until you find the one you want. All the sites you visited will remain in History unless you decide to clear them out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How do I put an icon on the taskbar?

Answer Man

I am using Windows 10. I want to have a program icon appear on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. How can I make that happen?

Click Start, All Apps. Locate the program. Right click on the description and select 'Pin to taskbar'.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My computer mouse jumps all around

Answer Man

My computer mouse jumps all around. I have trouble clicking on anything. What should I do?

I suspect that the mouse driver needs to be reinstalled. Type "device manager" in the search box and then click on the result. Click on Mice and other pointing devices. Click Action and then uninstall. Restart the computer. The mouse should work correctly after the reinstall.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Do you know anything about a free city building game?

Answer Man

Have you heard anything about a new free game in which the participants build a city?

You are probably thinking about Elvenar, http://elvenar.com/web. I'm not into such games, but I know that people who are like this game.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Is there a magnifier in Windows 10?

Answer Man

Is there a magnifier in Windows 10?

Yes there is. Click Start, Settings, Ease of Access, Magnifier.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Kindle screen is dim

Answer Man

I have an old Kindle keyboard. The screen is pretty dim and is difficult to read in poorly lit rooms. Is there a way to turn up the brightness on the screen?

Unfortunately, there is no way to increase the brightness on the older Kindles. There are two possible solutions I can think of. One is to purchase an external clip on light. The other solution is to replace your old Kindle with one of the new e-readers that have back-lit screens such as the Kindle Paperwhite.

Friday, September 18, 2015

My laptop keeps losing Wi-Fi

Answer Man

My HP laptop frequently loses connection to my Wi-Fi. I know the router is working because my desktop computer will connect to the Internet. What can I do?

It appears that you need to reinstall the network driver. Type "device manager" in the search box and then click on the result. Click on network and then on network adapters. Click on the word 'Action' and then on uninstall. Restart your computer and the driver should reinstall.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I can't move my computer desk

Answer Man

Help! The only good place for a new desktop computer is in a computer desk that I can't move. Many wires have to be fished through a hole in the backboard up to the surface. Can you tell me how I can put the wires where they are supposed to go?

Electricians generally use a device called a fish tape. It is a flexible wire that coils up inside a shell. Although I have a fish tape, I never use it for the purpose you describe. Instead, I use 2 or 3 foot plastic cable tie available from a local hardware store. Use masking tape to hold a cord to the cable tie. Push the tie through the hole in the backboard and up to the surface of the desk. You should be able to reach across the desk surface to grab the taped pair. Then, just remove the tape and pull up the cable.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I need a new computer. Any suggestions?

Answer Man

My old XP computer just quit. I want to get some sort of replacement, but I can't decide whether to get a new phone or phablet, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Can you help me sort out what I should get?

If you're a snowbird, travel often, or like to do all of your computer while in your easy chair, you may want something light and portable. Just remember, that the smaller the screen, the more difficult it is to see. If you are older, have declining vision, and don't mind sitting at a desk, you probably need a desktop computer with a large screen (say 23" or larger). If you plan living on a cruise ship, a phone or phablet may be what you want. Of course, since prices have dropped rapidly, there's probably nothing to stop you from getting more than one device.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What is your opinion of refilled ink cartridges?

Answer Man

What is your opinion about using refilled ink cartridges?

I am not in favor of the type you fill yourself. I have had them leak and ruin a printer. I am in favor of the refilled cartridges that are professionally filled. Some are very low priced. I just bought both black and color cartridges for an HP printer. The price on eBay was just $7.85 including shipping. One caveat: Many refilled cartridges will elicit error messages, but the cartridges work anyway. Many reputable firms, such as Costco, refill cartridges.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Are there any free genealogy programs available?

Answer Man

I have just acquired an interest in genealogy. Most of the resources, such as Ancestry.com, are too expensive for my budget. Can you suggest any free computer sources?

You can use Ancestry.com for free at Freedom Library. You can also search the Mormon genealogical database in Salt Lake City at familysearch.org. There are many free tips on Cyndi's List at http://www.cyndislist.com/uk/eng#General.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Executive Board Minutes

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
September 11, 2015

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Bill Balch, Richard Bambridge, Elliott Bogart, Bob Leiner, Alan Marcus, Bob Norton, Carol Norton and Linda Tingley.

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

Bob Norton gave the treasurer’s report. The current balance is $2,039.12.

A new battery was received for the Virgin Hotspot due to the failure of the original. Although not needed for the September meeting, it will be tested at that time for operation.

Nominations will be taken from the floor for club officers at the general meetings in September and October. The existing officers have agreed to serve for 2016.

The Board unanimously approved ten (10) $50 Walmart gifts cards to be distributed at the December Holiday Party; however, one must be a member of ORCC in order to win.

Upcoming Presentations: September 16 – Anthony, from Abba Computers will discuss data recovery and the 10 most common issues they see in repairing computers and what users can do to minimize those problems; October 21 – Windows 10 by Don Zenn, Manager of Staples; November 18 – Smartphones by the Geek Squad; December 16 – Holiday party with Q&A session and suggestions for 2016 programs.

Meeting adjourned at 9:50AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H. Norton
Secretary

My computer freezes. How do I shut it off?

Answer Man

By computer sometimes just locks up. I can't get it to do anything. What's the correct way to unfreeze it?

The best way is to hold down CTRL, ALT and DEL keys at the same time. Then, either stop the running process or click Shutdown. If that does not work, hold in the computer power switch for about 8 seconds. (Note: you should only do that if nothing else works.)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Must I use the Edge browser with Windows 10

Answer Man

Windows comes with a new browser call Edge. I don't like it. Is there any reason that I can't use Chrome with Windows 10?

You may use any browser of your choice. I use several different browsers with 10. I like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Having trouble seeing computer keyboard

Answer Man

I'm having trouble seeing the computer keyboard. Does anyone sell keyboards for those with vision problems?

I can think of several options for you. Walmart sells a keyboard that is yellow and black, and the letters are larger than normal. You can also buy keyboards that are back-lit. Here's one source:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Printer won't print some pages

Answer Man

My printer will print some web pages, but others will not print. What's wrong with my printer?

Users are always ready to blame their computers, printers or other equipment. They don't realize that there may be a problem with the web site. If your printer works some of the time, it should work all of the time. If you have a problem printing from a particular site, hi-light the text by dragging across it. Then press CTRL and C to copy the material. Then paste the material in Word, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Notepad or Wordpad to print the material.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Can I use a tablet as an e-reader?

Answer Man

I'm an avid reader. I thought about buying a dedicated e-reader such as the Kindle Paperwhite, which has good reviews, but I already own a tablet. Can I use my tablet as an e-reader?

Yes you can, however you will miss a few features that the dedicated e-readers may provide. The Paperwhite has a top notch display and back lighting. If those features aren't that important to you, click on the Google play icon on the tablet and then click on e-reader. You can select a Nook or Kindle app that will let you read e-books on the tablet.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Explain reading view

Answer Man

I understand that when a user is using the new Microsoft Edge browser that it is possible to strip the page of ads. Is that true?

Yes it is, however the feature doesn't work with all pages. To use the feature when you are on a web page, hover the mouse over the icon that looks like an open book. It's at the top right of the page. The icon should become darker. If it does, click on it, and only the essential text will appear.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Can Cortana speak German?

Answer Man

I have been toying with the new Cortana voice assistant in Windows 10, but I have been wondering if Cortana understands or speaks languages beside English. My wife is from Germany, and she would like to correspond with Cortana in German. Is that possible?

Cortana understands and can speak several languages. To switch languages, click Start, Settings, Time and language, and follow the prompts. Cortana's languages are:
  • American English
  • British English
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Mandarin Chinese

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Where did Freecell go?

Answer Man

I have always loved the Freecell solitaire game, but it appears to be missing in Windows 10. Is there any way to get it back?

Yes there is. Look for Store (a small shopping bag on the taskbar) or in the all apps listing on the left side of the screen. Click on Store. Type Microsoft solitaire collection in the search box. Just make sure that you select the free version. Click on Free to download the game to your computer.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Print own business cards

Answer Man

I would like to print my own business cards. I can do the design work, but do you know of a site that has the templates so my cards come out the right size.

Head to www.geographics.com. Click on Word templates and then on download generic graphics templates. You'll find templates for many useful projects.

Friday, September 4, 2015

I get page fault errors

Answer Man

Every time I go into my downloads folder and try to scroll down the list of downloads, a warning pops up saying that there is a page fault error in non-paged area. Then my computer re-starts. What's wrong, and can I correct the problem simply?

Some system files are corrupt. Fix them using the following procedure: Start Command as an administrator (Windows key+X, then type A)

Type sfc.exe /scannow. If you get a message indicating that it can not be repaired, run this command: dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Should I buy a new computer

Answer Man

I am on a limited budget. My XP computer has 2 GB memory and 100 GB of free storage space, but I am constantly getting pop-ups, and the machine is slowing down. I have several older religious programs that I use and have had since I bought the computer. A local repair shop wants several hundreds of dollars for a new machine. What do you advise?

Older programs (legacy programs) probably will not work with newer operating systems, and for that reason alone, I think you should keep using your old machine. And, since your computer has 2 GB of memory, it should be quite capable. I would use a program, such as Malware Bytes to clean up the computer and would remove unneeded items from the start menu to clean up the XP machine. See other posts on this blog to find out how to do that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I can see web page, but can't print page

Answer Man

I am using Windows 10. Frequently I browse to a web page that I can't print. Is there any way I can send the info to my printer?

Hold down the left mouse button as you drag across the text you want to print. Hold down the CTRL key as you press the letter C to copy the info to the clipboard. Left click in the search box at the bottom of the page and type Notepad. Click Notepad App. Hold down CTRL and press the letter V to paste the copy into Notepad. Click File and Print.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Resolution not what it was

Answer Man

I had to re-install Windows 7 on my computer. Now the resolution is not what it was. What can I do about the problem?

Remember, Windows 7 is several years old, so the computer must go through a slew of updates to be brought up to current update status. The process of updating may take many hours. When updating is complete, the resolution should be correct.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Two hard drives

Answer Man

My desktop computer is two years old. It has two hard drives. One drive has quit. Can I just take out the malfunctioning drive?

You can remove that drive, but if the other drive does not contain the operating system, the computer will not boot (start up). You need to have a copy of the operating system on disk or on a flash drive.

Insert the disk or flash drive and re-boot the computer. When the computer starts to boot, you will see a command flash on the screen. It will say something like, Press ESC to enter boot sequence. Press the proper key and follow the directions on the screen to have the DVD drive or flash drive boot first. Save the setting, and exit. The computer will re-boot and will begin to install the operating system on the remaining drive.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Windows 10 install via update

Answer Man

I tried to update my Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 by reserving a copy from the little icon on the taskbar. The computer ran for hours and never did install 10. What gives?

You are not the first person to tell me that. One member of our club let her computer run for a week, but 10 would not install. I suggest that users use the media creation tool rather than the upgrade process.


I know that I have mentioned the media creation tool in several posts, but I think that you will find that the tool is very easy to use, and everyone I know who has used the tool has had success in installing Windows 10.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Burning ISO files to flash

Answer Man

You have often mentioned a DVD/flash drive burner that you like. Would you repeat the name?

I think you are referring to burnaware. www.burnaware.com.

While I still like that program, here is another ISO burner that I now prefer. It's called Rufus https://rufus.akeo.ie/. Rufus is very easy to use, and you can burn ISOs representing all of the popular operating systems.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Media creation tool

Answer Man

During the last club meeting, you mentioned a tool a person could use to download Windows 10. Would you please let me know where I can find the tool.

Here's the link. Be certain you choose the correct version. Most Windows 7 machines are 64 bit machines. XP and Vista are 32 bit machines.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Is there a way to reset my password for Windows?

Answer Man

I forgot my Windows login password. Is there any way to gain access to the computer?

Perhaps the easiest way is to use another computer to reset the password. Navigate to:
Click on Reset your password and follow the directions.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I lied about my age and can't recover my password

Answer Man

I installed Windows 10 and established a Microsoft account. I don't like telling my age, so I wrote that I was born in 1990 (I'm 82 yrs. old). I lost the password to the account. When I try to recover the password, they ask when I was born. What year do I put in?

You will have to tell another lie and tell them you were born in 1990 since that is the year in the Microsoft database. Remember what Walter Scott said, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive".

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Media creation tool

Answer Man

I have Windows 7, and had reserved Windows 10. When I tried to upgrade to Windows 10, the computer ran overnight and still couldn't install 10. Am I doing something wrong?

Unfortunately, your computer must need tons of updates to get to the point where 10 can install. I suggest that you instead navigate to:

Download the media creation tool (you probably need the 64 bit version), and follow the install instructions. The entire process may take 4 or more hours.

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