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End Task

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Q:
What can I do if my computer hangs up?

A:
So, your computer hangs up and doesn’t seem to respond. Before getting all frustrated and hitting the on/off switch, try this.

Press Ctrl, Alt, Delete all at the same time. Wait for a window to pop up saying “Close Program” with a list of all programs that are presently running. Look for one or more that say… Continue reading

Upgrading Memory–Installing RAM

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Q:
How do I upgrade memory?

A:
Memory is usually an easy one. Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Note that the procedure is only slightly different on computers using older RAM (72 pin EDO type). Usually these machines are 233 MHz or less.

1. Check the manual that came with your computer to find out how much memory your particular machine can upgrade to. It… Continue reading

Tech Support Troubles?

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Tech Support Troubles?

Are you sometimes intimidated by calling a Technical Support line? Well, never fear, there are some general rules that will allow you to get the most out of a Technical Support contact.

1. Don’t use profanity, yell, scream, or insult the technician you are working with. Frustration is natural; however remember that the technician is there to help you. Working with the technician and being civil and… Continue reading

Getting the Most from Your Work Environment to Get the Most from You

At the end of the day, are you tired? Is your back sore? Eyes strained?

To work effectively and efficiently, you have to control many factors in your work area: the computer (including its peripherals), your chair, lighting, noise, temperature, and yourself. So let’s break them down one at a time.

The Computer:
Your screen (CRT… Continue reading

Man, That’s a Smooth Font!

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Man, That’s a Smooth Font!

Ah, reading on a computer! The soft hum of your power supply fan, the warm glow of your monitor, and that jagged, blocky text…

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just flip a “font-smoothing” switch or something to make those fonts a little easier to read?

If you’re running Windows 98 or above, you can!

Anti-aliasing is the technical name for a process… Continue reading

How to Detect Your Dial-up Speed on AOL

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

“I feel the need, the need for speed.”

How to Detect Your Dial-up Speed on AOL

When you are logging on to AOL, it gives you numbered steps throughout the connection process. In the third step, AOL will show at what speed you have connected to the Internet. Sometimes though it flashes rather quickly and you miss seeing what the connection speed is.

It’s good to know your connection speed… Continue reading

Write Protected

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
I have a 3.5 floppy disk that I can’t put any data on. The computer says it’s “write protected”. What does that mean?

A:
3.5 floppies can be write protected by sliding a little tab on the back of the disk so it exposes a small hole in the upper right-hand corner of the disk.

If the hole is open, the disk can’t be written to. If… Continue reading

Save to Floppy to Save Hard Drive Space?

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
I’m running out of hard drive space, should I save some of my files to floppy disks then take them off the computer?

A:
That’s probably a really bad idea.

OK, before you send me a nasty e-mail, let me explain. I get five or six e-mails a week from people trying to save hard drive space by keeping his/her stuff on a floppy disk (then deleting… Continue reading

Organize those cords – for cheap!

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
I’m tired of having computer cords and wires and cables hanging out of everywhere! The office supply store sells Cord Management do-hickeys, but they’re quite expensive. Any quick (and cheap) solutions?

A:
Most of us have wires all over the place. If you’re a neat freak, this can be a constant source of aggravation and frustration. The

Business versus Home

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
What are pros and cons of getting a “business workstation” vs. the “home systems”? They look about the same, but are the “business” computers better for business?

A:
In my opinion, most of that stuff is just marketing. Sometimes the business versions include more office oriented software, but for the most part, they’re pretty much the same in quality (unless the manufacturer actually states that the business… Continue reading

Similar Fonts

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
I can’t seem to find this one font. Is there an easier way to search for it without sampling every font I have?

A:
Yes! H ere’s how to look for fonts that are similar to the one that’s *almost* right.

1. Click the Start button, Settings, Control Panel . Open the Fonts folder. Win ME users may need to click the “View all control panel… Continue reading

Help from Microsoft

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
Is there some way that I can obtain Microsoft help without calling and waiting on hold until my computer becomes even more outdated than it already is?

A:
Yes! The most under used resource available for free to every computer user is the Microsoft Help and Support Center.

Should you encounter a problem or desire to accomplish a task and don’t know the procedure or method to… Continue reading

Refresh Rate

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Refresh Rate

Note: Please be advised that this tip will vary quite a bit depending on the computer and video adapter. In some cases, you can not even adjust your refresh rate. Now on to the tip…

Is your computer screen is giving you sore eyes? Is there anything you can do besides adjusting the brightness and looking away from it like you’re supposed to?

Well, you might try speeding… Continue reading

Affiliate Marketing: Make Money on the Internet!
(Or at least understand how other people are doing it!)

OK, I know this isn’t our normal type of topic, but we do have a lot of folks asking about how all this internet advertising and affiliate stuff works. So, here ya go!

You’ve seen them: ads asking you to punch a monkey, claim your free cruise, or spy on the… Continue reading

Spunkier Menus

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Spunkier Menus

Are your menus a bit sluggish? Well, you’ll be happy to learn that you can speed up their display speed. This trick is most noticeable for sub menus (like on your Programs menu). I didn’t think I’d be that impressed with it when I first tried it, but these faster menus are better! It makes your computer seem a bit faster and more responsive.

Anyhow, in order… Continue reading

Checking It Out

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Checking It Out

Got a computer question but don’t know where to turn? If the question is simple enough, try typing it (or a relevant term) into a search engine.

You’ll be surprised how often you can find an answer to your question. It’s what I do when I get stumped (yes, believe it or not, even I get stumped. More often than I’d like to admit… Continue reading

Set Up a Simple Network

Friday, November 19th, 2004

A Simple Home Network

A home network has many uses. With a home network, each computer in the network may have access to every other computer in the network. This way, all of the music can be on one computer, your kids can play games against each other at the same time (or do homework), all of the computers can share one printer, and countless other reasons. As the high-speed… Continue reading

What are Easter Eggs

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Easter eggs are special little extra tidbits or surprises programmers put into their programs. It usually involves doing some strange things (usually hitting an odd key combination at a specific time) in a program to see a little bonus surprise. Recently, many movies on DVD and video games began including these bonus features. Just do a websearch for the name of your favorite recent movie or game and “Easter egg”… Continue reading

EZ CD Autorun

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

EZ CD Autorun

Isn’t it a pain when you have to open and close your CD drive when you already have a CD in it you want to use? There is a better way. All you do is create shortcuts to your drives in the quick launch toolbar.

First, double click the “My Computer” icon on your desktop to open it. Then click and… Continue reading

Fixing Uninstall Errors

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Have you ever gone to uninstall a program, only to get some kind of nasty error message? It was probably something to the effect that the uninstall part of the program was hopelessly messed up and good luck trying to remove it from your system.

Don’t think you’re ever going to have this problem? HA!

Clean Your Computer

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
I was having a problem with a mouse last week and the inside of my computer needed cleaning. This seemed like a good idea to solve both problems—what do you think?

A:
First off, we love the picture :-) However, we have to say that we do not recommend putting live animals (or dead ones for that matter) in your computer. They tend to generate static… Continue reading

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

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