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.

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