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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category



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

My mouse is acting funny

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
My mouse is acting funny. Yes, it’s one of those ancient roller-ball mouses and sometimes I have to move it a few inches before the cursor starts to move. Is it time for a new mouse?

A:

I’m guessing the problem is that your mouse guts are dirty. Don’t worry, you don’t need to get in touch with some sort of computer vet to fix the little… Continue reading

Frolicking in the Recycle Bin

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Here are a few things you can do to make your recycling experience more enjoyable:

No Confirmations:

Ever notice how every time you delete something, Windows asks you if you would really like to do it? If you find yourself shouting “YES, I wouldn’t have hit delete if I didn’t want to delete the stupid thing,” then you may want to disable the deletion confirmation.

Software Installation Options

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
Sometimes when I install software, I get options for “typical”, “custom”, or “compact” installations. How do I know which one to use?

A:
I don’t know about most of our readers, but I generally make my selection after a series of coin flips. If my lucky penny says “custom”, then who am I to question it?

Ok, Ok. That may not… Continue reading

Program Skins

Monday, November 15th, 2004

I hear about programs having “skins”-what does that mean?

Before all of our animal loving readers start typing angry email to us, animals are not harmed in the making of “skins” for programs (although you can get animal patterned ones). These “skins” are graphic files used to change the appearance of the user interface to a program. They

Installing a New Font

Monday, November 15th, 2004

When you buy some new fonts or download them off the internet you may need to manually install them. Sounds difficult, but it really isn’t.

If you downloaded the font it may be in your downloads folder in a zipped format, so first you need to unzip the folder. If they are on a disk, then just have the disk in your drive.

Now, open the Fonts folder. You can… Continue reading

What Version Numbers Mean

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
What do those version numbers, like 1.0.1 mean?

A:
To find the version number of a program, just click Help, then find “About…”

Now, let’s say we have program with a version number of 6.1.2

The first number (6) represents the “major” version number. Normally these are only updated if there has been lots of major changes to a program.

The next number (1) represents… Continue reading

Window States

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Window States

Ever have a program that always starts in a “normal” state but you really want it maximized?

Well, here’s a little trick to help you do just that (and more) with a quick little bit of shortcut editing. Note: although this seems to work on most programs, sometimes you’ll run across a program that just won’t cooperate.

1. First, right-click the shortcut to the program and select Properties… Continue reading

Disable Error Reporting in Windows XP

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
Every time I have a problem with this one program, a little window pops up and asks me to report the error to Microsoft. How do I stop this?

A:
To get rid of that pesky request Windows XP likes to pop up, right-click the My Computer icon on your desktop and choose “Properties“.

In the System Properties window that… Continue reading

Favorite Web Pages At Startup

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Favorite Web Pages At Startup

If you’re like me, you probably have several internet related tasks you do each time you start your computer.

Wouldn’t it be great to have all the web pages you frequent, and maybe your e-mail program, run when you start the computer? You guessed it – you can.

All you need to do is drop some shortcuts into your Startup Folder

Transfer Files to New Computer

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
My new computer doesn’t have a floppy drive and my old one doesn’t have a CD burner. Is there any other way to transfer files?

A:
If both computers have network cards, you could create a simple network , allowing you to use your old computer as an extra hard drive. You can bring up files as needed with your new system and leave them… Continue reading

NumLock Key

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
Every time I turn on my computer I have to re-activate the NumLock key so I can use the keypad. Isn’t there a way to make it be on automatically.

A:
Well, *most* computers have a setting that allows you to have it turn on automatically. Since this tip requires you to play around with your computer’s system settings (NOT Windows settings), I need to tell you… Continue reading

Don’t Lose the Program Serial Number Again

Maybe you’re reformatting your hard drive or you just bought a new computer and need to reinstall a program from the CD, but can’t find the little card with the serial number on it. I hate that!

Before you reformat or erase the drive on your old system. Just go to Help/About… in each program and the serial number should be there. If… Continue reading

Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
What are those three little buttons on the upper right-hand corner of an open window for?

A:
Those are the Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons.

The “X” closes the window.

The “Box” maximizes the program, making it full screen. If it’s already maximized, it looks like a box on top of another box. If you click it in that state, it will make your window smaller.

Finally… Continue reading

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