Sunday, January 31, 2016

I can't download books on to my Kindle Paperwhite

Answer Man
I have used a Kindle e-reader for several years without difficulty. My children bought a new Paperwhite for me and now I am unable to download books. Do you have any idea what might be wrong?

I am willing to bet that your Amazon account shows the old Kindle and not the new Paperwhite. Go to, go to My Account and then to Manage Your Content and Devices. Click on Your Devices. Click on Device Actions and then on Deregister. Register a new device by using your Paperwhite. Wait a few minutes, and your Paperwhite should appear on your account.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Will USB 3.0 be faster than 2.0?

Answer Man

I understand that USB 3.0 is faster than 2.0, but my PC has only 2.0 ports. Will I gain anything by purchasing 3.0 flash drives?

You will not gain anything by using the 3.0 drives until you use them on a computer that has 3.0 ports.

Friday, January 29, 2016

What are the causes of the blue screen of death?

Answer Man

Many people talk about the blue screen of death (BSOD). What causes it to appear?

Causes include sudden power failure, viruses, and lost or corrupted files. Perhaps the best way to recover from the BSOD is to re-install Windows.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

System image vs. file history

Answer Man

I am using Windows 10 and want to back up my computer. There is nothing that says back up. I understand there is file history and system image, but I have no idea what either is. Can you explain?

File history backs up your important files such as those in documents, downloads and pictures. System image makes an image or copy of those files plus the operating system and all programs on your computer. To access either file history or system image right click on Start. Click Control panel, System and Security, Back up and Restore.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Do you know of a dating site for seniors?

Answer Man

Do you know of a dating site specifically meant for seniors?

I understand that is meant for seniors. The site has a free component and a paid option. I suggest that users exercise the same caution that they would use on any computer site. There are lots of scam artists out there. If you like the resume of a potential date, meet the person at some neutral site, such as a coffee shop, before taking the dating scene any further.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Keep grandchildren busy with computer

Answer Man

My grandchildren often visit, but they are bored easily. I don't want them using my computer, as I have some important documents on the machine. Is there any way I can keep them busy?

You might visit the Crayola site There you will find dozens of coloring pages that you can print. The coloring should keep your grandchildren busy for a long time.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Learn typing skills

Answer Man

Do you know of a site where I can find out how fast I type?

Try The site also provides typing lessons.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

There's a black border on each side of the screen

Answer Man

My computer screen has a black border on each side of the screen. Is it normal?

It sounds as though you have a wide screen, but the screen resolution isn't set for a wide screen. Go to the Control Panel and click on Adjust Screen Resolution. Try different resolutions until the screen looks right.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

How do I get to Device Manager in Windows 10?

Answer Man

I have often used Device Manager to see if the computer hardware was working correctly, but I now have Windows 10 and don't know how to get into device manager.

Perhaps the easiest method is to right click on the start button and left click on Device Manager.

Friday, January 22, 2016

What is a TSR?

Answer Man

I have heard the term, "TSR", but I don't understand what it is.

TSR means terminate and stay resident. An anti-virus program might have a TSR component so that whenever the computer starts, the anti-virus program starts and is ready to catch viruses. Sometimes, you may want to stop a TSR because it interferes with other processes. Use Task Manager to eliminate the TSR programs that are causing problems.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Easy way to enter task manager

Answer Man

I often have to use task manager to stop running processes. I have been pressing CTRL, ALT and DEL simultaneously and then pressing the task tab. Is there an easier way to get there?

You can press CTRL, Shift and ESC and click yes. If you are using Windows 10, you can right click on Start and then click Task Manager. All of these methods, however, seem to take about the same number of steps.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is a CMOS battery?

Answer Man

What is the CMOS Battery?

When you turn off your computer, all the crucial settings needed to start it back up would be lost if not for an internal battery. Since the battery is lithium-ion, it normally lasts for many years.  If the clock continually loses time, it's a sign that the battery should be replaced. The batteries are inexpensive and can be snapped into place in a socket on the motherboard.
CMOS battery

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What is a virtual machine?

Answer Man

I keep hearing about virtual computers. What are virtual computers and what do they do?

I can best explain by giving an example. Let us suppose that you normally use a computer that runs the Windows 10 operating system, but you have decided that you would like to try the Linux Mint operating system. You don't want to replace Windows 10, so you insert a disk or flash drive that contains Mint. When you reboot the computer, you can select Windows 10 or Mint, even though you have not installed Mint. When you remove the disk or flash drive, Mint is no longer available. You have run Mint in virtual mode. You could run several operating systems virtually, but virtual systems are resource hogs, so you are best off by limiting your choices.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Should I remove the batteries from my wireless mouse

Answer Man

Any wireless mouse that I have owned had a switch to turn it off. I have one now that has no switch. Should I remove the batteries to turn it off?

Wireless mice (mouses?) use very little battery capacity when not being used to control a computer. Even if they have a switch, not much is saved by turning them off. I wouldn't turn one off or remove the batteries unless you plan to go on vacation for several months.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My computer is not as fast as advertised

Answer Man

I purchased a new computer with 4 GB of memory and an I-7 CPU. The computer is not as fast as my 7 year old machine. What gives?

Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware). Retail stores often advertise computers by listing the type of central processor. The stores have led us to believe that Intel I-7 chips are among the fastest CPUs that you can buy. What they don't tell you is that an I-7 made a few years ago may not be as fast as an I-3 or I-5 made recently. The only way to know what your are buying is to look on a comparison chart that shows the speeds and chip ratings.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Isn't $300 excessive for stove repair?

Answer Man

I have an LG electric range. I recently ran into a problem wherein one burner would not turn off. I called a repair service and they charged $300 to repair the problem. Isn't that kind of excessive to repair a switch?

Today's appliances are very sophisticated. The day is gone when you simply replace a switch or control knob. A repair, such as you describe, involves the replacement of expensive circuit boards, so you are not only paying for labor, you are also paying to replace the computer or brains of the stove.

How long do lithium batteries last?

Answer Man

I'm thinking of buying some lithium batteries. How long do they last?

I'm sorry, but your question is about like asking, "How far can I drive on a gallon of gasoline?". The answer is, "It depends upon the car, how fast you go, the climate, etc. The same is true of batteries. A lithium battery used in a home scale might last 20 years because the battery is only used for a few seconds a day. A lithium battery used in a flashlight, might last a few weeks. Many lithium CMOS batteries that retain computer settings, have lasted for 10 years or more. So, the answer is, it depends upon the application.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Should I buy USB 2 or USB flash drives?

Answer Man
I'm thinking of buying some flash drives. What are the differences between USB 2 and USB 3?

The USB 2.0 standard offers a theoretical maximum signaling rate of 480 megabits per second, while USB 3.0 defines a maximum rate of 5 gigabits per second. In other words,USB 3.0 is theoretically 10 times faster. Much of the speed difference depends upon the brand and how much you paid for the drive.

USB 3 drives in a computer generally have a blue center as seen below. USB 2 drives are generally black in the center.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What is the difference between a computer and a server?

Answer Man

I don't understand the difference between a computer and a server. Can you tell me?

A server is a computer, however, servers are generally more powerful and more reliable than typical home computers because servers are generally used for business rather than for home computing. There are many types of servers such as: file servers, mail servers, print servers, web servers, game servers and application servers.

Open source software can be used to make a simple server from a home computer. Here's how you can do that: Make-Your-Computer-Into-A-Server-in-10-Minutes

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Now virus warnings are coming with sound

Answer Man

I have had pop-ups before that say my computer has a virus, but now I'm getting them with sound, and I can't turn them off. What can I do?

The spammers and hackers are getting more sophisticated. The first thing I would try is to press CTRL, ALT and DEL keys, on the keyboard, at the same time. Then click on the Task Manager tab and then on End Task. If that doesn't solve the problem, see if you can click on Start and Restart. If that doesn't work, hold in the start button for 8 seconds or so until the computer shuts down. Then start the computer again. If that doesn't work, hold in the F8 key on the keyboard as the computer boots. That will put the computer in safe mode. Then reboot into normal mode.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cell phones for a dollar?

Answer Man

I have seen several ads advertising cell phones for $1. Other ads are selling the same phones for $600. How come?

If you see phones at very low prices, they come with a gotcha. The gotcha is that you must sign up for a 2 year contract. However, in recent months, most cell phone companies have gotten away from 2 year contracts, and therefore, you will have to pay full price for their phones.

Monday, January 11, 2016

My Costco printer is not working

Answer Man

I bought a Xerox laser printer from Costco. It worked for a couple of jobs and I now continually get a message that the paper tray is empty. The tray is not empty. I called Xerox, and they couldn't solve the problem. Have you any suggestions?

Costco and Sam's Club provide free technical help for products bought at their stores. I have heard that the technical help provided is excellent. If they are not able to help, return the printer within the time specified at the respective store for returns.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Board Minutes

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
January 8, 2016

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Ron Kenyon, Bob Norton, 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.

Bob Norton read the Treasurer's Report. The current balance is $2227.50. It was noted that we will be giving 4 - $25 gift cards at the monthly meeting this year.

During the recap of the Christmas party, we determined from Linda Tingley’s purchases, that we would need 8 dz. Donuts and 5 dz. Bagels to satisfy the attendance at the party this year (95 total people, members were approximately 75 to 80 of the total count). Buying our own coffee was a good economic decision for future parties.

Elliott Bogart suggested that we give some of the leftover (15) styluses to any new members who sign up.

Alan Marcus will bring another computer to the next meeting to be auctioned off. Any other donated items are greatly appreciated. Please bring any items to the meeting.

Bob Leiner will email Richard Bambridge to get update on his return to Oak Run.

Upcoming Presentations:
  • January 20 – Smart Phones by Don Zenn, Manager of Staples
  • February 17 – Solar Energy by Tom Lane of ECS Solar
  • March 16 – Ron Kenyon will contact Emilio (DECCA) to request that he speak at our March meeting

In a discussion about presentations at our monthly meetings, it was concluded that with the many different types of hardware, multiple operating systems, using varies browsers and software programs, that we would need more specific direction from the membership. Alan Marcus will develop some survey questions to give us a better idea of the equipment members have and the classes that they would be interested in.

Ron Kenyon presented some estimates to the value of the old projector. The Board and present members unanimously agreed to sell the projector to Ron for $25.

Bob Leiner asked if members needed more detailed information about the Computer Club Blog. Alan Marcus will ask the membership if they have any question about the blog. Ron Kenyon can then respond with any specific details of the blog.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00AM

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Kenlay, Secretary

Clean installation of Windows 10

Answer Man

I upgraded to Windows 10 by clicking on the little icon on the taskbar. Everything worked well, and I now have 10 on my computer, however, what will I do if the computer crashes, and I have to reinstall 10.

First, navigate to the following site: Then, follow the instructions for a clean install. Note that you will need a flash drive or DVD to save the files for future use.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sending photos using a Tracfone

Answer Man

I have a pay-as-you-go Tracfone. It is an LG 41C (also known as an Ultimate2). Can I take and send pictures with my phone?

Since your phone is an android phone, you can use it to send photos to someone else. Click Apps, Camera. Take the picture. Click on the tiny picture image on the lower left. Click on the icon that looks like a V on its side (share) and choose email. Complete the info required and click the send button.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Icons missing from desktop in Windows 10

Answer Man

I don't know what I did, but suddenly all the icons are gone from my Windows 10 desktop. How do I get them back?

Right click on the desktop and choose View. There you will see "Show desktop Icons". Click on the words so that a check mark appears before them. Your icons should now be visible.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Import bookmarks/favorites from Internet Explorer

Answer Man

I had oodles of favorites in Internet Explorer, but I switched to Google Chrome. Is there a way to transfer the favorites to Google?

Open Google Chrome. Click on the icon in the upper right corner that looks like three horizontal lines. Click Bookmarks. Click Import Bookmarks and Settings. Select Internet Explorer. Click Import.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What do you think of computerized door locks?

Answer Man

I know that there are several types of electrical computerized front door locks available from Lowes and Home Depot. Are they reliable?

They are reliable, but there are many different types available. The computerized versions are powered by batteries, but, if the batteries give out, you can still enter the door with a key. Since the batteries are only used when the lock is used, the batteries should last a long time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Modem or router?

Answer Man

My Internet provider said that my router was defective and sent me a new device, but the box says modem, not router. Did the provider make a mistake?

There is a recent trend to combine a modem and a router in a single box, and the box is often called a modem even though the box contains both devices. If there are several Ethernet ports on the device, the gadget they sent to you is both a modem and a router.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Family Tree Maker being spun off by

Answer Man

I'm upset. I have been interested in genealogy for many years and have used the Family Tree Maker program for all that time. The program has many features that interlink with Now, I understand that Ancestry is ending their association with Family Tree Maker. What do I do now?

Because of the spinoff, Family Tree Maker will be a little less useful, but the program will still work, and your files will be intact. Some people, upset at the change, have chosen to transfer their information to other genealogical programs such as Roots Magic. The choice is up to you. Much of your info will transfer between programs using standard Gedcom files.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Older laptop won't connect to the Internet

Answer Man

I was given an old laptop computer. The machine works well, but it doesn't connect to the Internet. Can you tell me why?

Many older laptops did not contain wireless adapters. To connect them to the Internet you must either connect them directly to your router using an Ethernet cable, or purchase a device known as a wireless adapter.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

How does PayPal work?

Answer Man

I want to buy something on eBay, but the site says that they only accept payment through PayPal. Is PayPal safe? How does it work?

Yes PayPal is safe. Here's how it works. You establish an account with PayPal. They want you to provide your bank's routing number and account, and perhaps a credit card that you use. When you purchase an item, you simply click the icon that says Pay with PayPal. You will be asked for your PayPal account name and password. The amount of your purchase will be deducted from your bank account. You can access your account on line in order to check your balance and to ensure that the charges are correct. I have used PayPal for several years and have never encountered a problem with the service.

Friday, January 1, 2016

I still don't understand apps

Answer Man

I don't own a smart phone and don't understand apps. Can you give me a simple explanation of what they are?

Let's say that you purchase a new smartphone. On the phone you see an icon labeled Google Play Store. You touch that icon and are offered dozens of software applications that will work with your phone. Many of the apps are free. You decide to select a free app. The one you have chosen is a magnifier. You select the magnifier app you want and click Install. The app is now installed on your phone, and creates an icon for future use. When you select the icon, the phone uses the camera lens to magnify any image. The app also contains a camera image that you can select to take a picture of the magnified image.

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