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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category



Big Buttons

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Big Buttons

Do you ever accidentally click the Maximize button on a program window when you meant to hit Close? Or Close when you wanted to Maximize? Or Maximize when you wanted to Minimize? Or… OK, I guess you get the idea.

If the buttons are bigger, it helps to eliminate this problem. Trust me, ever since I made my buttons bigger, I have lots less digital… Continue reading

Card Slot Types

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
I was looking inside my computer and I noticed that I have several types of card slots. Some are short white ones, some are longer black ones.What’s the difference?

A:
The short white ones are PCI slots and the black ones are ISA slots. You may even encounter an AGP slot (usually looks like a displaced PCI slot, brown in color)

What’s the difference? Here’s a run… Continue reading

My, What a Big Mouse You Have!

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Do you find the standard Windows mouse cursor is a bit too small? If so, you may want to select a larger cursor scheme from your Mouse Properties. Here’s how:

Hold the Windows key and press the R key (Win+R). This will bring up the Run line. In Run, type main.cpl

This will bring up Mouse Properties in XP, Vista… Continue reading

What Version Number Is It?

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
I have a program and I need to find out what version it is. Where can I find that information?

A:
Most programs hide their version number in their About box. Not all programs have an About box, but most do. Just click the Help menu and see if there is an ” About… ” item.

Proper ShutDown

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
Do I have to shut down all my software before I shut my computer down?

A:
Not really (although Office XP programs get persnickity about this). Windows will shut things down for you, which can be a real time saver if you have a dozen open programs. However, note that if you have stuff pending (like unsaved documents) Windows will ask if you want to save this… Continue reading

Skip The Recycle Bin

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Every now and then you need to really delete a file. Right now.

Well, most people delete the thing, then go to the recycle bin and remove it from there. It works, but there’s a better way.

Next time you’re 100% sure, without a doubt, for certain, that you want to delete a file, hold your Shift key down while you delete. The file will be deleted—skipping the Recycle Bin… Continue reading

Finding Your MS Product Codes

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Finding Your MS Product Codes

Warning: This tip accesses the registry and MUST be used with extreme care!

Ever notice how Microsoft likes to put “product keys” on all their software? Well, what do you do if you’ve lost yours and you need re-install the software? I suppose you could call Microsoft and ask them for help. Yeah right!

Here’s another solution: If the program is still on your machine… Continue reading

Mouseless

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

If you are a good typist, you probably find it annoying to hop constantly between the keyboard and your mouse. I find it irritating and I’m not even that great of a typist! So, here are a couple of ways to help keep your fingers safely at the keyboard.

Here’s a trick for generating a “right-click” from your keyboard. Make sure your

Newsletter is Blocked

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
I have been getting your newsletter in my email for a while now. I found some great software and I have really learned alot. But I stopped getting the newsletter and wondered why?

A:
As the anti-spam frenzy heightens, this complaint becomes more common. Sure we want less spam, but at what cost? Legitimate email that you want to read is not getting to you, vanishing into… Continue reading

Windows 98 Shut Down Problems

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
I’m running Win 98 and every time I shut down my computer, it hangs on the “Windows is shutting down” screen. Is there a way to fix this?

A:
This can happen for a variety of reasons with any version of Windows (well, I guess it doesn’t really happen that much with XP).

Usually it’s due to a program that’s not shutting down the way it’s supposed… Continue reading

XP and Vista Clock Trick

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

If you are running Windows XP or Vista, you’ll never have to worry about manually setting your computer’s clock again! Of course, you have to be online for this little trick to work, so keep that in mind.

For Windows XP: Just double-click the little clock in the System Tray and it will bring up the Time and Date Properties screen. Click the Internet Time tab and you’ll see a… Continue reading

MS-DOS Prompt in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Older versions of Windows had the MS-DOS prompt conveniently located in the programs file. For some reason, Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 buried it in Accessories and renamed it “Command Prompt”. So, how do we get there from here?

Simple!

To get a DOS prompt in Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7, you can go the long way… Start>Programs>Accessories, and select ” Command

Q:
I was installing a program and it told me disable my anti-virus software. How do I do that?

A:
On the right side of your taskbar is your system tray . In it you can see the programs that are currently running.

Move your cursor over an icon and you should get a little text line telling you what the program is… Continue reading

I found a great program that…

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

I found a great program that…

I get email all the time from readers who want me to know about freeware and shareware programs that change the status of read only files, turn off XP Messenger Service , display hard drive contents, monitor open processes, and other simple tasks. Of course, we appreciate and encourage reader feedback and recommendations, but I had a few thoughts that I’d like… Continue reading

Secure Sites

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
How do “secure servers” work? When I give my information, is it really safe?

A:
There are two things that indicate a secure web page:

First, you will notice that the domain changes to “https://”. Second, a little padlock appears in the status bar at the bottom of your browser.

When you log onto a secure server it communicates with your browser for a few seconds… Continue reading

Make Mine Plain Text, Thank You!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
Is there any way to clear the formatting of copied text?

A:
There sure is! Have you ever copied a hunk of text that was overly-formatted? You know, italic, underlined, and written in some really strange looking font that’s next to impossible to read?

Like this:

When you paste it into your word processor… Continue reading

Hard Drive Space

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
How can I tell how much hard drive space I have left?

A:
We get this one a lot. To see how much space you have left, open the My Computer icon on your desktop (or under the Start menu for XP users) and right-click the drive you are curious about (for most people, this would be

Microsoft Support

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
I heard a rumor that Microsoft will no longer offer support on any version of Windows other that XP, which means no updates. These programs will just die out. Is this true?

A:
In accordance with their “Product Support Lifecycle”, MS discontinued support for Windows 98 on July 1, 2003. On January 16, 2004 Win 98 will be considered obsolete.

As for Win ME, “mainstream support” will… Continue reading

Printing Font Samples

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Printing Font Samples

Most computers come pre-installed with a bounty of printer fonts, and WinXP only added to them. You can also download hundreds more, or even make your own. Knowing how they will all look when they print can be tough, but can also be an important aspect!

Luckily, there’s an easy way to print samples of the fonts on your computer. Go to Start Menu , Settings … Continue reading

Where’s My B Drive

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
I have an A: drive and a C: drive. Why don’t I have a B: drive? Did the programmers at Microsoft skip kindergarten?

A:
Ah, don’t fear, those MS programmers had a full education. The B: drive used to be (and still is I guess) reserved for a 5 1/4 inch floppy drive. You remember ‘em… They were the huge, bendy disks that didn’t hold much and… Continue reading

Spam Filtering—Killing The Patient To Cure The Disease?

OK, everyone hates junk e-mail and wants to do something about it. Since we’re in the newsletter publishing business, we deal with this on a daily basis and are noticing a disturbing trend.

Basically, anti-spam efforts are choking the life out of e-mail.

Here’s what’s happening. Spam is a continual nuisance and ISP s are pressures to help keep it… Continue reading

Save Power

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Save Power

Want to leave your computer on but don’t want to use all that extra electricity? Windows provides an easy way to reduce the power your system consumes when you are not using it. This is especially handy for laptop users.

I think the easiest way to get to these options is to right click an empty space on the desktop and select Properties in the menu that appears… Continue reading

Leave It On or Turn It Off

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004


Q:
Should I leave my computer on all the time, or turn it off?

A:
This debate comes up often. Sparks continue to fly on both sides of the issue (especially if you don’t have a surge protector!)

I guess I’ll give you the thoughts from both camps and let you decide.

Leave it on:
The… Continue reading

Smoking and Your Computer

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
Will smoking around my computer mess it up?

A:
In the early days, computer geeks kept their systems in dust free, temperature controlled rooms and required everyone to wear static free booties before entering their “labs”. What a far cry from today where people eat and drink over their keyboards or use the cup mounted on their monitor for an ash tray.

Despite all our… Continue reading

Launching Multiple Programs

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Launching Multiple Programs

Have you ever needed to launch multiple programs? Normally, you hit the Start button, Programs , then select the program you want to run. Once that one starts, you go back through and repeat the process for the next program. Well, here’s a better way.

Next time you need to launch more than one program from your Programs menu, hold down your SHIFT key while you click… Continue reading

Worms and Viruses

Monday, November 15th, 2004

I got a question the other day from a reader wanting to know what the difference between a worm and a virus. So, without further adieu, here we go!

Viruses are self-replicating programs that embed themselves into other programs, or even the operating system , and use the host to carry out its function. Unless it attaches itself to an email, a virus… Continue reading

Two Monitors = Too Fun

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Two Monitors = Too Fun

If one monitor is good, two is better, right?

I’ve been using two monitors simultaneously with my laptop for over 3 years now. Let me tell ya, it’s great having all that desktop real estate to play with. Your mouse moves from screen to screen and you can move open windows from one screen to the other just as if you were using… Continue reading

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