Saturday, January 31, 2015

Unplug backup drive

Answer Man

Should I leave my backup drive plugged in and on or shut it off when I am done with it?

If you have set up the drive to backup whenever a change is made, you'll want to keep it plugged in. If you backup less often, it might be a good idea to unplug it when you are not using it. A drive that is plugged in all the time is susceptible to electrical spikes, and a spike could knock out both your hard drive and your back-up. So, the choice is yours.

Friday, January 30, 2015

DVD Drive won't open

Answer Man

I don't know what happened, but now the DVD drive on my computer won't open. I know about the trick where you stick an opened paper clip in a tiny hole in the drive, but my drive doesn't have that hole. What can I do?

Click Start, Computer (or This PC) and then right click on the letter representing the DVD Drive. One of the options you will see is Eject. Click Eject and the drive will open.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wireless adapter

Answer Man

I have an old laptop that does not have wireless capability. Is there any way I can make it wireless?

You can buy an inexpensive wireless adapter that plugs into the USB port. Here is a picture of two types of adapters. You can buy adapters at Walmart or from many sites online.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Free art books

Answer Man

I have been told there is a website that has free books on art. Do you know any?

The Getty library has hundreds of free PDF publications available from a searchable database. You might, for example, be interested in Renoir. Simply type Renoir in the search blank and click Search.

Getty Publications:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scientific Calculator

Answer Man

Is there a way to convert the Windows calculator to a scientific calculator?

There is! Open the calculator and click on View. Several options will be listed, including Scientific. Click before the term, scientific, and you will have a scientific calculator.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Windows Store won't open

Answer Man

I'm using Windows 8.1. When I click on Store, I get a message to try again later. What can I do?

Type "wsreset" on the start screen. Click on it to run. If that doesn't solve the problem, there may be a conflict with your anti-virus program. Avast has caused such problems. Uninstall and re-install Avast. You might also have trouble with a corrupt user account. Creating a new account should solve the problem.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sleep mode

Answer Man

How can I put my computer into sleep mode?

Many keyboards have a sleep button. The button symbol looks like a crescent moon. One push of the button puts the computer to sleep. Touching any other button wakes the computer.

If your keyboard doesn't have such a button, start the normal shutdown sequence, but instead of shutting down or restarting, select Sleep.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Answer Man

I heard you mention the word partition in relation to the hard drive. What is a partition?

Wikipedia defines a partition this way:

Disk partitioning is the act of dividing a hard disk drive (HDD) into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions, to treat one physical disk drive as if it were multiple disks, so that a different file system can be used on each partition

Special software is used to create partitions. Some users like to keep all their photos in one partition, all their documents in a 2nd partition and all of their downloads in a 3rd.

Your hard drive probably had 2 partitions when it came from the manufacturer. You use the C drive for your programs and files. The D partition is usually designed to hold recovery information used to restore programs back to their default values.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Get rid of a virus

Answer Man

How do I get rid of a computer virus?

The answer to your question does not have a simple answer. I suggest you check out the following Microsoft web page for possible solutions.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Answer Man

I just got an e-mail from Linkedin. The e-mail mentions a casual acquaintance whom I haven't heard from in over a year. What is Linkedin, and should I reply?

Linkedin is a huge networking site that is primarily used by people searching for jobs. Often, like Facebook, Linkedin will attempt to expand their network by linking people who casually know each other. Sometimes people will be mentioned whom you don't even know. If you have no interest in looking for a job or networking, I would ignore the e-mail, and just delete any Linkedin invitations.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Answer Man

Yesterday you told a user that they should rename a photo. How do you do that?

Locate the photo. Right click on it. Left click on Rename. Type in a new name and press the Enter key on the keyboard. No two photos can have the same name, so if you have many photos of the same person , or from the same area, you might have to slightly modify each name. If, for example, you took 7 pictures of the pyramids, you might have to name them pyramid1, pyramid2, pyramid3, etc.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

File organization

Answer Man

I know I had a picture of my grandson on my computer, but I can't find it. Can you help?

The secret to finding files and photographs is to have them well organized in the first place. Microsoft has conveniently labeled three categories that you probably use most often: Documents, Pictures and Downloads.

Despite having those great areas, I see users with photos and files on the desktop, in different folders and sometimes in several categories. In your case, try typing in the search box for words that might have been used in the naming of the photo.

If you never renamed the photo from the original numbering, you may have to look in one folder after another. Good luck.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Recover lost files

Answer Man

Is there any way to get back deleted files?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Restore in Windows 8

Answer Man

How can I create a restore point in Windows 8?

Restore points are normally created automatically by Windows whenever a download is installed, but sometimes Windows fouls up in restore point creation. To create a restore point in Windows 8, type System Restore anywhere on the start screen. Then click on System Recovery. The option to create a restore point will appear on the screen. Click on that option.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Install SSD in desktop computer

Answer Man

I thought of installing a solid state drive in my desktop computer, but I'm puzzled. The new drive is much smaller than the drive that was in there. How do I mount the new drive?

Most SSDs are designed to fit into notebook computers, but they will also fit in desktops. The secret is that the installer must purchase a carrier designed to hold the SSD in place. You can, however, take a shortcut if you wish. You could mount the drive to the case with Velcro, or use some other mounting of your own design.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Memory Installation

Answer Man

My notebook computer has just 1 GB of RAM. I can buy 2 GB cheaply, but I'm concerned that the installation might be too difficult for a person with my limited technical ability. Is memory difficult to install?

If you can use a Phillip's screwdriver, you can install memory. Unscrew the screws that hold the memory cover to the back of the computer. Use your fingers to spread the spring clips on both sides of the memory stick. If you did that correctly, the memory will pop up at a 45 degree angle. Then, just pull the stick toward you. Insert the new stick and press down on the stick until the spring clips snap in place. Screw the cover back on and you are good to go.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

ORCC Executive Board Minutes

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

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9AM. Members in attendance: Richard Bambridge, Lawrence Bauer, Elliott Bogart, Frazer Crane, Ron Kenyon, 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 $2,043.46.

Alan Marcus reported to the Board his findings regarding the purchase of one sending mike and two hand-held microphones for the club. The Board decided not to purchase the additional equipment for now.

The free computer item table will be moved near the entrance door for better visibility.

Richard Bambridge, a Board member, will give a presentation on “Fundamentals of Cloud Computing” at the January 21 general meeting.

On February 18 Nick Burke will give a presentation, “Shopping on the Internet.”

The Oak Run Computer Club will conduct a Q & A session, meant for novice computer users on Friday, February 13, in the Orchid Club, between 3PM and 5 PM. Alan Marcus will give a short introduction to PowerPoint and devices used for computing. The session is open to all residents.

The March general meeting will consist of club members giving short presentations on their favorite programs.

In April a Trivia Quiz is being considered.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol H. Norton

App updates

Answer Man

You once mentioned a program that will update all computer software at once. What was that program?

I think you are referring to Ninite, Ninite won't update all of your software, just selected apps.

I also like another similar program called Patch My PC,

Just put a check mark before the programs you would like to install and/or update. You can even schedule automatic updates with Patch My PC.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Best operating system

Answer Man

What is the best computer operating system?

Wow! You really want me to get in trouble. It reminds me of the age old argument about which is better; Microsoft or Apple. However, according to a recent reviewer on Ziff-Davis net, Linux Mint 17.1 is better than all the rest. I have to agree that it is a very good operating system, but then again, I have used all of the major systems and have not had any difficulty with any of them.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New operating system, old machine

Answer Man

I have a 7 year old computer running Windows Vista. Is it possible to put a different operating system on the machine?

It certainly is. I'm typing this answer on a 6-1/2 year old desktop that came with Vista. I am now using Windows 8.1 on the machine. As long as your computer has enough memory, a decent processor and enough hard drive space, you should be good to go. The cost of the new operating system is another matter.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Printer ink error message

Answer Man

I purchased some printer ink cartridges on line. The printer is displaying a message that the cartridges are not genuine cartridges. Does that mean I threw my money down the drain?

Many printers contain electric circuits that can detect if cartridges are not OEM cartridges. Manufacturers often lose money on the printers to make a fortune on the cartridges. Printer ink costs more per ounce than most perfumes. Just ignore the message. The printer will still print.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Resetting modem and router

Answer Man

My modem and router frequently lose Internet connectivity. Would you repeat the procedure for resetting them?

Remove the power plug from each device. Wait at least 20 seconds. Plug in the modem. Wait until all of the lights except the Internet activity light are lit. Plug in the router. Wait until all its lights are lit.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Num Lock

Answer Man

There is a light on my keyboard labeled "Num Lock". What is the purpose of the light?

Num Lock enables the numeric keypad at the right of the keyboard. When the num lock is off, you will not be able to use the keypad. Many users who used old style calculators, can type in numbers very quickly using keypads. The key served a true function on old 84 key keyboards. It let users switch between functions. Some newer keyboards have eliminated the Num Lock key.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chrome start page lost

Answer Man

I use Google Chrome as my browser. It used to work well, but recently it opens with a different page. How can I put it back the way it was?

Look in the upper right of Chrome. You will see three horizontal bars. Click on them. Click Settings, On Startup, and then on Open a specific page and Set Pages. Type in the name of the page you want to have open, such as

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Screen hard to see

Answer Man

My eyesight is failing, and I find the computer screen more and more difficult to see. I know the computer club had a speaker some time ago who demonstrated equipment for people with macular degeneration. Do you have the contact information?

I think you are talking about Freedom Scientific You can also use CTRL and the + sign on your keyboard to enlarge the print, or use the built in Windows magnifier.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

32 bit vs. 64 bit

Answer Man

I often download programs of interest, but sometimes there are two downloads for the same program. One will be 32 bit, and the other will be 64 bit. How do I know which to download?

A 64 bit program will not run on a 32 bit machine, so you have to determine which type of machine you have. To do so, click Start.Then right click on Computer. Click on Properties. Look at the page that appears. You will see which type you have under the heading "System Type".

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Adding photos in for sale posting

Answer Man

I often sell items on, but I always encounter difficulty trying to locate the photos I want to include with the ad. Is there a better way to add photos?

If you have hundreds of photos on your computer, it can be frustrating when you are trying to find the correct ones for your ad. I suggest that you locate the photos before starting the ad. Then copy each photo to the desktop. Since all the photos will be on the desktop, they will be very easy to locate when you are creating the ad. When you have completed the ad, just delete the photo copies from the desktop.

Monday, January 5, 2015

DVD Drive won't open

Answer Man

For some reason, my DVD drive won't open any more. I want to use the drive. Is there a secret way to open it?

Click on Start and then on Computer. Right click on the DVD drive and then left click on Eject. The drive should open. If it doesn't, look for a tiny hole on the front of the drive and insert an opened paper clip into the hole. If neither of those tricks work, it may be time for a new drive.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Answer Man

Someone sent a PowerPoint presentation to me, but I don't own PowerPoint software. How can I see what's in the presentation?

You can download a free PowerPoint viewer here,
that will let you view but not create PowerPoint presentations.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Coupon sites

Answer Man

I know that many people subscribe to coupon sites. I don't want to be inundated by ads. Is there a better way to save money?

I think you have to be selective. I don't want all of those ads, but I don't mind a few ads from sites that give good values. You can get good saving coupons from specific sites that you like. I'm on a mailing list for Bob Evans and Newegg, and have saved quite a bit by using their sites.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Scrap paper

Answer Man

I often have misprinted or extra pages left after a printing job. It's too far to the recycling center, but I hate to throw the paper out. Do you have the same problem?

I think we all encounter the same problem. I use a paper cutter to cut the paper in quarters. First cut the paper in half (5-1/2") and then cut the halves in half (4-1/4"). I stack all the pieces in an open box that is slightly larger than the paper pieces and use the pieces whenever I want to make some notes. I keep the box near my phone and find the idea works swimmingly.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

ISO files

Answer Man

I would like to install Linux Mint on an old computer. The Mint site has users download ISO files. I can download it, but then I don't know what to do with the downloaded file. It won't open.

ISO files must be burned to disks or USB sticks. Not all burning programs will burn ISO files. I like Burnaware Free. It will burn ISO files. Just select "Burn Image". Once you have burned the file, the DVD can be used to install the program.

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