Sunday, July 31, 2016

Correct screen that is turned sideways

Tech News and Views

Some laptop video cards allow the image on the screen to be rotated. Pressing certain hot keys accidentally can cause the screen to rotate sideways. To correct the rotation, turn the laptop so the screen reads normally (if you don't turn the laptop, the mouse or touchpad cursor will be very difficult to control). Right click in a blank space on the desktop. Choose Graphic Options and then Rotation. As odd as it may seem, you should click on 0 degrees rotation. If you click on 90 degrees, nothing will happen. The 0 degrees option will set the image back to normal.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

How can I connect a flash drive to my Android phone?

Tech News and Views

There may come a time when you want to connect a flash drive to an Android phone. Such a connection would let you have access to movies or a large music collection.

In order to make the connection, you need to download an app called USB OTG (on the go) to your phone. The Google Play Store has OTG for most phones. Then you need an OTG cable. The cables are inexpensive (as low as $4 including shipping.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Is there a way to retrieve forgotten passwords?

Tech News and Views

If we forget our passwords and haven't written them down, are we out of luck? Not necessarily.

You know many sites will ask if you want to remember the password for this site. If you had said yes, those passwords are easily retrievable.

To retrieve those passwords, using Windows 10, right click Start, left click Control Panel, User Accounts, Credential Manager, Manage Web Credentials. Click on the down arrow at the right side of the password you would like to retrieve. Click show. Where it shows Password, enter the password you used to log in to your computer. The password should appear.

If you did not use a password to enter the computer, you will have to change the user account to a Microsoft account and enter the Microsoft password for the passwords to appear.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

How do I know if the CPU is any good?

Tech News and Views

It's very difficult for the average layman to know the quality of a computers CPU (Central processing unit). A fast I-3 CPU might be much better than a slow I-7. To ascertain the quality, I suggest that users type the chip number into a browser followed by the word "passmark" as in i56200u passmark.

The site will list a series of processors and will show how the one you selected compares to other CPUs.

CPU Mark Relative to Top 10 Common CPUs As of 17th of July 2016 - Higher results represent better performance
Intel Core i7-4710HQ @ 2.50GHz
7,849
Intel Core i7-4700HQ @ 2.40GHz
7,757
Intel Core i7-4700MQ @ 2.40GHz
7,747
Intel Core i7-3630QM @ 2.40GHz
7,618
Intel Core i7-3610QM @ 2.30GHz
7,461
Intel Core i7-2670QM @ 2.20GHz
5,948
Intel Core i7-2630QM @ 2.00GHz
5,560
Intel Core i5-6200U @ 2.30GHz
3,936
Intel Core i5-3230M @ 2.60GHz
3,913
Intel Core i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz
3,790
Intel Core i5-2410M @ 2.30GHz
3,161
PassMark Software © 2008-2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I added the wrong memory and now nothing works

Tech News and Views

Memory for computers come in a wide variety of flavors, so it's very easy to purchase the wrong type. If you replace the computer's memory and find that your computer won't boot, you'll probably re-insert the old memory. However, you may find that the computer won't boot with the old memory.

The problem lies in the fact that the BIOS or UEFI which remembers your computer's settings, needs to be reset. The easy way to reset it in a desktop computer is to replace the watch like battery that retains the settings (CMOS battery). You can just remove the battery for a few seconds and then replace it, or insert a new battery (Most computers use a CR2032 battery). Replacing the battery in most laptop computers can be a real challenge. Sometimes the whole case must be disassembled, and that is a job for someone with lots of experience with laptops.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Print spooler problems

Tech News and Views

If, when installing a new printer, you see a message indicating there is a print spooler problem, try the following solution.

Press the Windows key on the keyboard and the letter R. Type "Services.msc" without the quotes. Scroll down to "Print Spooler". Click to stop the service. Then click to restart the service. Click OK and the printer problem will probably be solved.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Quicken won't uninstall

Tech News and Views

Several Quicken users have told me that they ran into problems when trying to update the Quicken program. It seems that the old program won't fully uninstall and the new updated program can't install when there are any file remnants left.

The solution is to use a program such as Revo Uninstaller: revouninstaller.com. The program gets rid of file remnants. Scroll down to the bottom of the Revo page to find the free version.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

I ordered a desktop solid state drive but got a laptop drive

Tech News and Views

Many computer users want newer faster solid state drives, but a search for such drives makes it appear that all such drives are meant for laptops.

SSD drives most often come in a 2.5" width, so users are puzzled. How do you mount a 2.5" drive in a 3:5" space? The answer to the puzzle is that the drive can be inserted in a mounting kit or carrier such as that seen below, and the carrier bolts to the normal hard drive cage.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

How to set Chrome as a default browser

Tech News and Views

Microsoft can be annoying by forcing you into using the Edge browser. You can change to make Chrome the default browser in Windows 10 by following the steps listed below.

Click Start | Settings | System | Default Apps
Scroll down the page to Web Browser
Click Choose a Default | Click Chrome

Friday, July 22, 2016

Good duplicate file finder

Tech News and Views

Unfortunately, duplicate files are a fact of life in most computers. In an effort to rid my computers of the duplicate menace, I have tried many free duplicate file finder versions. Many of them clean files, but not photos. Some come loaded with additional programs you don't want or need.

The duplicate file finder I found to be most successful in my case is "SearchMyFiles" nirsoft.net/search_my_files. The website is somewhat confusing. Just scroll down toward the bottom of the page for the download. Once it downloads, just click on the file to have the program install.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Resize photos to fit application

Tech News and Views

If you have ever tried to adjust the size of a photo to fit a particular application, you know how frustrating it can be. Suppose, for example, you want to sell a reclining chair. You take a picture of the chair and the picture needs to fit on a 3" x 5" card so you can sell the chair through a posting on the community bulletin board.

Most common print formats, such as 8" x 10", 5" x 7", 4" x 6" and 3" x 5", just won't do. The solution is to use Pix Resizer at cnet.com/PixResizer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A smoke detector that will save a lot of heartache


Tech News and Views

I don't know why it is that the smoke detector battery always gives out at 2AM. I'm half asleep and have to get out the 8-foot stepladder, pull a pin on the detector, disconnect the plug from the device, insert a new battery and then have to try to reassemble the whole thing while half asleep.

There is a better way. Kidde makes a replacement that doesn't solve all the problems, but does make things a little easier. The outside of the device has a push button door that springs open. You insert the replacement battery and shut the door. You don't have to struggle with electrical connections.

The detector can be purchased for approximately $12.

G1750375

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Troubleshooting Internet connections

Tech News and Views

We've all been through it. You go to check your email and a notice appears on the screen showing that there is no Internet connection. Let's look at the possible reasons:
  1. The ISP (Internet Service Provider) is down. If so, most of the lights on the modem are out. Call the ISP to verify that they are down and ask when the system will be back up.
  2.  
  3. The modem and router need to be reset. Remove the black power plugs from the back of the modem and router, wait 20 seconds and plug in the modem. Wait a minute. Plug in the router. Wait another minute and test to see if the Internet can be accessed.
  4.  
  5. The modem or router is faulty. Call the ISP and ask them to check if they show the signals are getting through. If any of the devices are faulty, replace them.

Monday, July 18, 2016

How to get missing drivers on new OS install

Tech News and Views

Let us assume that you are having trouble with the operating system on your computer and so you decide to wipe the drive and do a clean install of Windows 10.

The operating system installs okay, but you can't get on the Internet wirelessly because the computer is missing the wireless card driver, and the printer doesn't work because that driver is also missing.

The simple solution is to run a direct connection from the router to the computer (using an Ethernet cable). Then, either run Windows update to get the drivers or go to the manufacturer's website to get them.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

How do mechanical and solid state drives compare in cost?

Tech News and Views

Solid state hard drives are becoming more common, and the prices for them are steadily dropping. Therefore, you may wonder how prices of the SSD's compares to the prices of mechanical hard drives. Here's an example:

Newegg newegg.com recently offered a 500 GB SSD for $109. That means that the cost per GB is approximately 22 cents. Newegg also sells a mechanical 500 GB hard drive for $30 or approximately 6 cents per GB.

Only you, the user, can decide whether the faster speed and better reliability of the solid state drives are a good value.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

What is DDR3L?

Tech New and Views

You may be interested in replacing or increasing RAM (memory) in your computer, and may be confused by some of the terminology. Most current computers use DDR3 (double data rate) modules. However, you may encounter some memory listed as DDR3L.

DDR3L requires less energy to operate, and thus dissipates less heat, but at the cost of some performance. Keep in mind though that modern DDR3L modules will perform better than older DDR3 modules simply due to improvements in design.

DDR3L modules are by design backwards compatible with DDR3 which means that they can be inserted into a motherboard that does not support DDR3L without issue.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Backing-up programs

Tech News and Views

I have mentioned, in the past, that in many cases, when you have to re-install the operating system, the programs you have added in addition to the operating system are lost. There are two ways to get the programs back. One way is to install each program by using the original disks. The other way is by restoring the programs from a system image that you have created.

But, what happens if you have to add each program from disk (assuming you have all the disks).  You have to have a list of all the programs in order to install them, and I am willing to bet that you have no idea what more than a few of those programs are.

You should either go through all your programs or apps and write down what is installed, or you can use a program such as Belarc Advisor www.belarc.com which will compile a list of the programs for you.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

You'd better check your backup files

Tech News and Views

I spend nearly 2 hours every day working with computers, so you'd think I'd be pretty swift when working with the technology.

Imagine my surprise the other day when I went to restore some files from a backup only to find that the backup I thought I had created was not there. The only backup I had was 6 months old.

Be forewarned. Take a look at your backups from time to time. See if they are current. See if one even present. Try to open a file or two to see if they are legible.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Back up to CD

Tech News and Views

Recently, several people have asked me how they can create backups of photographs on CD or DVD. The people are surprised to learn that they cannot just copy and paste the photographs.

In order to put photos, data or music on a CD or DVD, you must use a CD/DVD burner and the appropriate burning software. I am partial to Burnaware burnaware.com. Navigate to the site, click on downloads and download the free version. Then click on the downloaded file to install the program.

Click to add files, and then on the word burn.

If you have a very large number of photos or lots of data, you are better off using a flash drive. You can copy and paste to a flash drive. The only reason to used CDs and DVDs is if you have lots of them on hand and you'd like to get some use out of them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New audio scam to look out for

Tech News and Views

Here's a new twist on an old scam. A pop-up, such as the one shown below, will appear on your computer. It will often be accompanied by a verbal announcement that your computer is infected. The scammers attempt to get you to call a number so they can get your credit card numbers.

The site is completely bogus. If you see a notice similar to that shown below, close the browser and run a virus scan.


Monday, July 11, 2016

The recycle bin is no longer on the desktop

Tech News and Views

If the Recycle Bin is gone from the desktop on your computer, you can restore it by typing "Show common desktop items" in the search box of Windows 10. Then check the items you want to see on the desktop, and click OK.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

How to restore the search box

Tech News and Views

Several computer users have said that the search box in Windows 10 was not present. Normally it is displayed to the right of the start button. If it is not there, as shown in the graphic below, right click on a blank space in the taskbar. Find Cortana listed, and click on the right arrow. Uncheck the word "Hidden".



Saturday, July 9, 2016

Executive Board Minutes

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

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Bob Norton, Bill Cahill, Linda Tingley, Don Forgette, Ron Keynon, Bob Leiner, Elliot Bogart, Bob Kenlay, 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 $2167.70.

Bill Cahill presented the topic and guest speakers for our regular club meeting.

Future meeting topics:
July 20                     Abba Computers
Aug 17                     Auto dealers, Hyundai, Marie Patino (car electronics)
Sept 21                    Bill Balch Email address Backup
Oct 19        ???        Jim Burton - Security & Computer scams
Nov 23       ???        Century Link Internet Services
Dec 21                     Christmas Party ; Q & A
Bob Leiner asked that we request the membership of the Club to send in their Email address so that Club activities can be announced.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Kenlay, Secretary

How do you know if the computer is infected with malware?

Tech News and Views

Check out this excellent site from Malwarebytes that shows whether your computer has been infected with malware.


Friday, July 8, 2016

What is Windows Paint, and how do I use it?

Tech News and Views

I know that many users are unaware of several programs within Windows that are a little difficult to find. One of those apps is Paint.

Microsoft Paint or 'MS Paint' is a basic graphics/painting utility that is included in all the Microsoft Windows versions. MS Paint can be used to draw, color and edit pictures, including imported pictures from a digital camera for example. MS Paint is found in the Windows Start menu within the Accessories Folder.

To access Paint, in Windows 10, Click Start, All Apps. Scroll down to Windows. Click on Accessories and then click the down arrow to find Paint.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Quick way to determine whether computer is 32 or 64 bit

Tech News and Views

Here's a quick shortcut to determine whether your computer is a 32 bit or 64 bit machine. Press the Windows key on the keyboard and the Break key on the keyboard at the same time.



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How to make fonts darker

Tech News and Views

Many people have asked how they can make the fonts that display on their computer darker in color. One way is to turn on clear type. To do so, in Windows 10, right click on the start button, click control panel, click appearance and personalization, click display, Click in the box to adjust clear type text.

You will notice, as you click through these screens that there are also options to change the font size and to make the fonts bold.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Less expensive buying alternatives

Tech News and Views

Here are several web sites where computer and computer parts buyers can often score a great deal.

newegg.com          tigerdirect.com          monoprice.com          tmart.com

Monday, July 4, 2016

No cost selling option

Tech News and Views

We are prohibited by our community's covenants from holding garage and yard sales. That can make it difficult to dispose of unwanted items, and newspaper advertising can be expensive. Fortunately, there is a neat no-cost alternative called ocala4sale.com.

The site will let individuals, but not stores, advertise items free of charge. I have used the service for many years and have sold many items. I highly recommend the service.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Computer won't start until you press F1

Tech News and Views

On occasion, a computer will display a warning to press F1 to start. This is normally an indication that new hardware has recently been added to the computer, and it is not being recognized by the BIOS.

Sometimes, you will see the notice if the internal CMOS battery is failing. That battery is the flat watch type battery that is easily replaced in a desktop computer but which can be exceedingly difficult to replace in a laptop computer.

Recently, however, I encountered and entirely different reason for the F1 warning. It seems that the laptop battery (not the CMOS battery) had failed. I substituted another battery and the F1 warning went away. If you think you may have a similar problem, leave the battery out and start up the computer using the power cord.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

How to add a larger screen to your laptop

Tech News and Views

I have a friend who owns a laptop. He's very happy with the computer but for one thing. The screen is too small. Although it's a 17.3" laptop, he would like something bigger. He's talking about a computer with a 24" screen.

The simple solution, in his case, is to buy a 24" monitor and place it on top of his desk. Then, push the computer screen down until it is parallel with the keyboard, place the computer on a shelf under the monitor, and connect the monitor's VGA cable to the VGA port on the computer.

Friday, July 1, 2016

You can't use Cortana unless you have a Microsoft account

Tech News and Views

Yesterday, I wrote about how annoying it is to try to open a Yahoo email account if you don't have a mobile phone. Today, it's Microsoft's turn in my venting box.

You can not use Microsoft's Cortana (the digital voice assistant) unless you sign in to your computer with a Microsoft account. And, if you do sign in that way, you are forced into using a password to get into the computer. I guess Microsoft doesn't realize that some people prefer user accounts (with no password) to their stupid Microsoft accounts.

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