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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category



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

Understanding Kilobytes, megabytes, etc

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

 

Q:
What’s with all the sizes I see? Kilobytes, megabytes, etc?

A:
File sizes tend to be one of the more perplexing issues for both the fledgling and intermediate computer user. So, we’ve put together a breakdown of the various file size “units” you may encounter.

Bit – The smallest unit in computing. It can have a value of 1 or 0. You’d… Continue reading

Find out what your Windows Hotfixes do

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Find out what your Windows Hotfixes do

Every now and then my Windows XP automatically updates. Usually these are to plug holes in the system (as you know, Windows XP is a work in progress). But what exactly do all those hotfixes do? Well, I discovered a way to find out.

First, you need to go to your Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Next, scroll down toward the… Continue reading

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