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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category



Where can I Hibernate?

Friday, November 12th, 2004


Q:
In Windows XP and I can’t find “Hibernate” listed under the shut down options. What can I do?

A:
It’s still there—so close that if it were a racoon, it’d bite ya!

When you go to Start / Turn Off Computer (or from the desktop just hit Alt+F4) you will see three choices: Standby, Turn Off, and Restart.… Continue reading

Downloading, Uploading and Installing

Friday, November 12th, 2004


Q:
What is the difference between Downloading, Uploading and Installing?

A:
Here’s a blow by blow:

Downloading – This is moving a file that’s on the Internet (or over a network) onto your computer. For most of us, downloading is just a matter of clicking a download link on a web site and saving the file to disk.… Continue reading

What are all those cards?

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Q:
What are sound cards, graphic cards, network cards, and all those other cards all about?

A:
You might hear of different kinds of “cards” in a PC. Some are usually included as basic hardware, while others offer optional features. Most basic PC’s will include a Sound Card, Video Card, and maybe a Network Card. Also, in some modern PCs, these can also be integrated… Continue reading


Q:
What is the difference between a Taskbar and a Toolbar?

A:
Your taskbar is the long gray bar that sits at the bottom of your screen (you can move it to the top or either side of your screen though). It has the Start button, system tray, and possibly more on it. In addition, it’s where your programs buttons sit. Here’s a… Continue reading

Power Management Setting

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Q:
Why does my monitor go black after about 15 minutes of not using the computer?

A:
Windows has a Power Management setting that will shut your monitor off after a specified amount of time. If you don’t like when it’s shutting the monitor off, you can change it by doing the following:

In Windows XP:

1. Hit the Start>Control Panel , then go to Performance and Maintenance

Aren’t Those Characters Special?

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Have you ever needed a symbol or some other special character like the degree symbol, the small square checkbox, the copyright symbol, etc.? Well, they’re tucked away in a folder that, once you know where to look, is easy to get to and use.

Here’s How:

Hold the Windows key and hit the R key (Win+R). In the Run box that pops up, type charmap

This will work in all… Continue reading

Stick a paper clip where?!

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Did you ever get a disk stuck in your drive? Nothing seems to work—you’ve pressed the button a million times, tried to open by right-clicking the drive and choosing “eject”, maybe even contemplated using a screw driver to pry the thing open.

Before you take out the drive and try to surgically remove the disk, or worse, buy a new drive, try this simple little trick to manually open your… Continue reading

What Does that Program Do?

Friday, November 12th, 2004

You probably know that if you hover over a program in your Toolbar or on your Desktop, it gives you the program name. Some programs like Google Chrome and Word also give you a description.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have this for all your Programs? Great news… if you have Windows XP, Vista

USB Port Speed

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Q:
How do I know if my USB port is USB 1.0 or 2.0?

A:
USB is a way for your computer to connect to external devices. It’s fast, easy to use, and allows you to use tons of devices all strung together. Most newer computers have one or more USB ports. Older computers have USB 1.0 or 1.1, while newer PCs have the faster… Continue reading

How to Download

Friday, November 12th, 2004

How to Download

So, you’ve found a piece of software you want to download but aren’t sure how to go about the whole process. Well, here’s a step by step guide:

#1 – Click the download link.

# 2 – Choose to save to disk and hit the OK button.

# 3 – Choose where you would like the file downloaded… Continue reading

Advice on Opening Attachments

Friday, November 12th, 2004


Q:
I got an attachment but I can’t seem to open it. How do I know which program to use? What if I don’t have the program needed?

A:
First off—before you open any attachment, make sure you know who sent it. Even if you do know the sender, if you aren’t expecting it, you might want to send a quick note to… Continue reading

Let Your Computer Do the Dialing

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Let Your Computer Do the Dialing

Have you ever used Phone Dialer? Maybe you didn’t even know that Windows had it. It can be used to dial common numbers or just to avoid the hassle of holding the phone while you dial and wait for someone to answer. If your computer has a phone line hooked up to it you can have your computer dial the number for you, then… Continue reading

What are .pdf files?

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
What are .pdf files?

A:
If you’ve been using the internet for any amount of time, you’ve probably run across these little buggers. They’re Adobe Acrobat files. Normally, you download them and use Adobe Acrobat Reader to read them. You can get Adobe Acrobat Reader for free at Adobe’s web site:

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html (Make sure you… Continue reading

Liven Up Your Mouse

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

I’ve read about the FDA testing the effect of caffeine on laboratory mice, but that won’t help us here. Adjusting the speed of your mouse pointer and buttons can help liven up your mouse.

If you’re using XP, open Mouse in the Control Panel (click Start>Control Panel>Printers and Other Hardware>Mouse) If you’re using Vista or Windows 7, just type mouse into

Left-handed Mouse

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
Is there a way for a left-hander like me to make my mouse easier to use?

A:
Since Windows 98, a feature was included for changing the buttons on your mouse, allowing you to replicate the feel of the right-handed mouse (like having the primary mouse click be your pointer finger).

To switch buttons on your mouse to a left-handed configuration… Continue reading

Keep It Clean

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Keep It Clean

When it comes to our computers, all we tend to think about is the stuff we see on the screen — the software. Most of us tend to neglect the computer itself.

What can you do with your computer to make it run longer? As I just mentioned above, keep it clean.

I can’t tell you the number of computers I’ve opened that have… Continue reading

Strange sounds when computer is turned on

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
Help! My computer just started making a strange sound when I turn it on. It sounds like rapid ticking or rattling (not hard drive sounds either) and goes away after a few minutes. Any ideas?

A:
Sounds like a problem with one of your fans (no, not the people who love you, the ones that blow air).

Your computer probably has two internal fans – one that… Continue reading

Website links in email that you can’t click

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
I sometimes get URLs (website links) in my e-mail that aren’t highlighted and I can’t click. How can I get to the site?

A:
I know our more experienced web users are maybe giggling to themselves at this point, but I tell ya, I get this question a lot. When you come across a link you can’t click, copy & paste it into your… Continue reading

Let’s go for a Drive

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Let’s go for a Drive

What are all these different drives? Probably the easiest way to explain it would be to define each of them:

1. Hard Drive - A hard drive is a fast, high capacity internal disk drive found in all modern PCs. Unless the computer is older than say, 12 years, it should have a hard drive in it. Any PC running Windows does.

The reason for… Continue reading

Nslookup – what those numbers mean

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004


Q:
My firewall keeps telling me that someone is trying to get into my computer, but all it shows are a bunch of numbers. Is there a way to find out who this is?

A:
This digital trick is actually pretty easy to pull off:

For Windows Xp users:

1. Hit the Start Button / Run . Type… Continue reading

Thunderstorm Protection

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Thunderstorm Protection

What’s the best way to keep your computer safe during a thunderstorm? In my opinion, just crawl under your desk and unplug it.

Although a good surge protector may keep your computer safe during a thunderstorm, I still unplug mine. After all, if the thing isn’t plugged into the wall, it’s kind of hard for a spike or surge to get through. Also, try to keep all of your… Continue reading

Illegal Operations

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Illegal Operations

Don’t you hate it when you see this error:
“This program has preformed an illegal operation and will be shut down”.

It can happen for a variety of reasons. In my experience, most of the time it’s due to a software conflict of some sort, usually with a program that’s running in the background.

If you find you have a bunch of stuff sitting in your system… Continue reading

Command Prompt

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

I know that a command prompt has something to do with MS-DOS, but what is it?



A Command Prompt is where you enter text commands to the computer. This type of entry was used prior to graphical user interfaces (GUI). Although it isn’t often used in Windows, it is still the preferred method of input for certain operating systems like Linux and Unix.… Continue reading

Conscientious Software Installation

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

We get calls and email all the time from readers who have trouble running software. Many times, these problems are caused by PBDC errors (Problem Between Desk and Chair) during install. I’m guilty of this too. Many times we try to install software without checking the memory and system requirements. So often we click “I Agree” to things we have not read or “Next” without reading the screen. Here are… Continue reading

Registering Software

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Q:
A friend of mine told me that I should always register software. Is this true? Will the software police come and get me if I don’t?

A:
OK, I’m going to take some heat for this, so just remember this is my opinion—you do what you want :-)

My feeling on registration is not to —unless you absolutely have to.… Continue reading

What is a Program Group?

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Q:
What is a “program group”?

A:
A program group is actually what it sounds like, a group of programs that are (usually) related. Normally, it’s one main program, an uninstall program, and maybe a utility or two.

When you hit Start>AllPrograms, all those little icons you see are program groups. Depending on the version of Windows you’re running they might have… Continue reading

Quiet your modem

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Shut Up and Dial!

The “regular” way to get rid of excess modem noise is to go to the Control Panel , open the Modems icon, click your modem, then the Properties button, and turn the volume down from there.

Well, I ran that tip in the past and it always seems that there are people out there who it doesn’t work for. So, I did some digging and came… Continue reading

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