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Saturday, February 2, 2013

1286. Word Page Numbers

Jackie asked - My word document has page numbers that start numbering 1, 2,3 and then all of a sudden it starts to number pages from 1 again.  What's up with this document?

This problem was caused by using the Sections feature in Microsoft Word.  One of the many feature in Word allows you to create sections.  Section among many things allows you to have different headers, footers and other attributes that include page numbering.

As it turned out she had copied parts from different documents and the page numbering definitions for each "Section" was maintained.  So when the document was printed the page numbers for each would be maintained.

The solution was to remove the Sections and make the document one section using common settings.

Or you could "Link" the Sections.  This would make the page numbers flow from one section to the next section.

Use the "Help" function in Word to Link or Unlink sections as the procedures vary slightly between versions.

Word is very powerful and sometimes you want just simple.


1287. My Mac has no sign in screen

Molly indicated she tried to boot her Mac and all she saw was the gray screen. . What could be wrong and how could she fix it?

There could be many reasons for this problem.   But very often the Mac needs to have the PRAM (Parameter Ram contains settings for the clock, and other internal features) reset.  Doing this cannot hurt the machine. Here are the steps:

1.        Shut down your Mac.
2.        Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
3.        Turn on the computer.
4.        Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
5.        Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
6.        Release the keys.

If the problem was a corrupt PRAM your computer should start.  

If this doesn't solve the problem try putting yout original Operating DVD in and booting from it.

If you still have problems it is most likely a hardware problem.  I always look at the most likely hardware to fail and that is the hard drive.  There are good instructions on the internet on how to remove the hard drive for your make and model.  Do it yourself or find a friend that is comfortable doing this or take it to a local computer repair store or of course Apple will fix it.

Molly's computer had a bad hard drive and as soon as I disabled the drive I was able to boot to the OS DVD.  I replaced the hard drive and re-installed the Operating system.  This is a good time to mention backups.  If you have done your backups you won't lose data, if not you are out of luck.


Here a some links that will help with PRAM

http://thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2010/12/04/how-when-why-to-reset-the-pram-smc-on-your-mac/

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

1288. god mode - Windows Control Panel

Tom recently mentioned a common complaint.  In Windows there are a million places to go to configure the computer to just the way you want it. There must be one centralized place to go to configure all the settings. Any ideas?

There is an undocumented folder that will provide you centralized access for all of the Windows system settings:

It is very easy to set this up.  Well not real easy.
  1. Create a folder on your Desktop.
  2. Name this folder:  "My Control Panel " followed by a long hexadecimal number.
     {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}.
Go to your favorite search engine and type "godmode".  I do not know why people named this feature godmode but they did.

You will find many articles providing the special folder name.  You do not need to include the name "godmode", The important part is the hexadecimal number.  

That folder will now change it's icon to look like the control panel icon and when you open it you will have links to almost every important setting control in Windows.  

Since I found this tip I have used this folder numerous time to help me tune my Windows system  This tip is well worth your time.

TweakUI  is another option to help tune your PC.  Download this program and install it.  


This is also worth your time.

1289. Search tips

Whenever we do joint research over the phone, Doug and I often get different response for the same internet search.  We are both using Google, but sometimes I get the answers faster. Doug has learned a few tips.  What have you learned - Doug?

They are:
  1. + sign
  2. - sign
  3. Quotes
  4. Site Google, Bing
The + sign works the same as if you added an additional word.  But next time you do a search add the plus sign immediately in front of the second word in your search.

The - minus sign really helps.  What this does is when you find results matching the previous word, now filter the results and make sure that those articles do not also contain the following word. Make sure there is no space between the - minus sign and the word you want to eliminate.

Then there are the quote marks.  Use quote marks to require the search results to have the exact string in the results.  If I didn't put quotes around two words in the search string, the results would only require the two words to be in the result, not the two words next to each other.

The site keyword will limit the search to the specific search engine.  You do not need to specifically go to that site to do the search, this keyword tells the browser to use that search engine.

Try using these techniques in your next search on the internet.  I think you will be surprised on the results.  If you want more techniques search for "Advanced internet search techniques".  Then put quotes around the search and see how different the results are.


1290. Clear the Windows Desktop


Jane asked how she could clear her Windows desktop clutter and interact with an icon on her desktop. The problem is that she has lots of windows open concurrently, and she can’t really even see her desktop through all the windows. Is there an easy way to clear away the clutter and get to the Windows desktop, so she can start up a different app from its desktop icon?
Windows provides several different means of hiding all the currently active windows, effectively clearing the desktop so you can interact with its icons. The simplest one is relatively undiscoverable, unless you tend to randomly click at everything on your desktop! In Windows Vista (and if you’re using Vista, it’s time to upgrade, really), Windows 7, and in the desktop view in Windows 8, you can click on the little vertical rectangle that appears on the right-hand edge of the Task bar—this action minimizes all the active windows, leaving a clean desktop. In Windows 8, the rectangle doesn’t “light up” until you click it, so it’s even more difficult to notice. Clicking the rectangle a second time restores all the active windows to their original positions.
For a more different solution, you can right-click on the Task bar, select Toolbars from the context menu, and then choose Desktop from the list of available toolbars. This action adds a Desktop menu to the Task bar, and you can select the icon in question from this toolbar, rather than clearing the active windows.
Windows also offers the option of minimizing all but the current, active window. The simplest way to do this is to press the Windows key and the Home key simultaneously. This key combination minimizes all but the current window, and pressing it again restores all the windows. (Doug found this one—Ken had never heard of it!)
Windows 8 also provides an alternate, weird, and perhaps useless way to minimize all but the current window. This works, but who would have though of it? Click the header of the active window, and shake it with the mouse. No kidding! This action minimizes all but the active window. Grab and shake again to restore all the active windows. Try it—it works. But it’s weird.

1302. Hide the clock from the taskbar in Windows

I normally display a large number of application icons on my Windows Task Bar, and I’m running out of space. I don’t really need to display the clock down there. Is there some way to turn off the display of the clock and other icons in the lower right-hand corner of the Task Bar?
Windows gives you complete control over what appears in the lower-right corner of the Task Bar (that area is called the System Tray). To get started, right-click on the Task Bar itself (not on one of the icons or the clock, however). Select Properties from the context menu that appears. On the dialog box that appears, next to the Notification area prompt, click the Customize button. To change the display of the clock, click the link at the bottom titled Turn system icons on or off. Selecting this option provides a list of various system items you can control, including the clock. You can select to show or hide the clock (and other system items) here. You can also control the display of icons for volume, power, network, and others.
Once you have removed various icons, you’ll have room for more stuff on the Task Bar, and Windows offers the option to display various menus there, as well. We like to add the Desktop menu to the Task Bar, so we can see a list of all the items on the desktop without having to minimize all the running applications to clear the desktop. To do this, right click on the Task Bar again, but this time select Toolbars instead of Properties. From the list of available tool bars, select Desktop. Now you can click that menu to display a list of all the items on your desktop at any time. Take some time to work through the various options to see how they change your Windows experience—you may find some of the options useful!

1303. Eject my DVD in my Mac.

So Doug every Mac made before this year seem to have been made with a DVD drive in it and those DVD drives were slot loaded, not trays. So DVD's could get stuck in them. I have heard stories about people not being able to get DVD's out of the drive. Are there some tricks to make this easier?


So Doug every Mac made before this year seem to have been made with a DVD drive in it and those DVD drives were slot loaded, not trays. So DVD's could get stuck in them. I have heard stories about people not being able to get DVD's out of the drive. Are there some tricks to make this easier?

First try the standard things
1.      Try the eject button on your keyboard
2.      Right click on the disk on your desktop and choose the eject from the menu

Then try these
1.      Try restarting the Mac and after the chime press and hold down the left mouse button (or left corner on your touch pad) and see if that gets the disk to eject.
2.      Next I would check the disk utility program and select the disk there and see if you can select the eject menu option.
3.      If that doesn't work I have heard people tilt and shake the Mac and sometimes the disk falls out.
4.      I guess the next thing I might be doing is throwing it against the wall but you really don't want to do that.
5.      If none of the above works try this: Open the Terminal application in your Utilities folder. At the prompt enter or paste the following: "/usr/bin/drutil eject" and click enter. The disk should eject.
6.      If this fails then try this, boot the computer into single-user mode by holding down (Command) -S through the boot process. At the prompt enter "/usr/bin/drutil eject".  The disk should eject. To restart the computer enter "reboot" at the prompt or "shutdown".  

If it is still stuck you may have to take a trip to the Apple store and I am sure they can resolve the problem.






1298. Windows 8 - Surface ads

I keep seeing all of these Microsoft ads for the new Microsoft Surface and I am guessing a lot of people are going to be confused about what it is and how it applies to them and their Windows 7 machines. Can you explain what the difference between Surface, Windows 8, Surface Pro, and all of the stuff Microsoft is releasing at the end of the year 2012. 

The new Microsoft ads you are seeing on TV have two new products from Microsoft. Windows 8 RT and the Surface tablet computer. These products seem to be directed at competing with the Apple iPad and Android tablets.

The Windows 8 operating system has also been release for regular PC computers and is a new product to replace Windows 7. It can run all Windows 7 programs and it has the new Metro interface to use with Tablet/Ultrabook computers. It is very touch screen oriented.

In the first quarter of 2013 you will see the new Surface Pro computer that will be able to run all Windows 8 and Windows 7 programs along with the touch oriented Metro applications you are seeing on the Surface today.

I will be waiting for this version of Surface Pro to buy. Then I will either buy the Surface from Microsoft or one of the new tablet/ultrabook's from one of the other hardware vendors like Lenovo, Dell, HP, or others.

This is great competition and will help to make the products from Microsoft and Apple even better.

1299. Backup/Recovery

So here is a tale of whoa and it's a true tail. Doug had a backup completely fail on recovery. So even though Doug has been preaching for years on how I need to backup constantly and keep multiple levels of backup it can happen even to the pros.

So Doug explain what went wrong and what to do to avoid this problem.

Ken - Basically I failed to test my recovery procedures adequately. I installed Windows 8 and the upgrade to my backup software.

I did do a test to make sure I was able to recovery my data. Unfortunately I only did a partial test. What I didn't do was a test a full backup/recovery of the partition that failed.

This cost me was about 20 hours of work that required me to install Windows from scratch, put all of the updates on it, and then locate all of the programs I had installed over the past 4 years, and then finally installed all of my data.

If I had tested the full recovery and found the problem when I first upgraded I could have talked to the software vendor before I had the failure.

The lesson is you must test your backup recovery procedures well before you need them in a failure environment. Especially when you make major changes.

My last word of warning. If you are not comfortable with your backups and you care about your data talk to a professional to make sure you are covered with data backup/recovery procedures;.


1300. Secure file deletion - Mac

Hey Doug I have an old Mac I want to give to a friend. But I don't want to give them my personal files. I know I can just delete the files but then it is possible with some software mechanism to retrieve those files later. How can I securely delete the files so no one, no matter how evil can get at them again later?

Gee Ken with friends like that...

Well you can make sure the data has been erased.  It is very easy on the Mac.


1. Find all of the data that you want to delete. This will most likely be in your Download and documents folder. 
2. Launch Disk Utility - Command button 3 times and type in Disk Utility and click enter.
3. Select the drive that you want to clear deleted data.
4. Click the Erase tab and click on Erase Free Space.
5. The next screen popup with a choice for different security levels of data erase.
6. Depends on your MAC OS you can see selections or a slider to choose these options Fastest: Zero Out Deleted Files, 7-Pass Erase of Deleted Files, Most Secure: 35-Pass Erase of Deleted Files. The default option Zero Out Deleted Files, writes zeros over the drive’s free space would be sufficient for the most of the cases. You can go up to more secure option if you want, but it will take a very long time. I would recommend taking a back up before securely erasing the data on your hard disk for peace of mind.

Now your friend will be able to use your computer and you can feel secure in that your old data will not be seen.

1301. Screenshot of my iPhone Screen


Jerry asks: I’m having a problem with an app on my iPhone, and I want to let a friend who’s better at this than I am see what I’m seeing on my screen. Is there some way to take a “picture” of my phone’s screen and send it to a friend for help?

On desktop computers, this is a common request, and it’s easy to do. Both Windows and Mac OS X include built-in features to take screen shots. It’s built-in on the iPhone, as well, but there’s no way anyone would guess how to do it.

To take the screen capture on your iPhone, simultaneously press the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons (the oblong button at the top of the phone). You’ll hear a camera shutter sound, and the screen will flash white. You’ll find the new screen capture in your phone’s saved photos—you can email it from the photo roll to your friend, making it easier to describe the problem you’re having with the phone.

If you’re an Android user, if you have Android 4.0 or greater, it’s easy to take a screen capture: Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time. Again, the screen capture will be saved to your Gallery, and you can email the photo to a friend.  (If you’re using an earlier version of Android, it’s probably time to upgrade, but in any case, there are apps you can download to help with screen captures.)


1292. External Hard Drive failed




Lucy asked: I had an external hard drive for just a year or so, and then it seems to have died. It
won't mount anymore. Is there anything I can do besides just throwing it away?

We swear these hard drives know when their warranty expires and they wait till one day after that moment to drop dead. Hopefully, however, yours is still under warranty.  If it is, you can contact the manufacturer to get a replacement drive.  All of the hard drive manufacturers warranty their hard drives, and they’re all reasonable about replacing them during the warranty period. How they react after the warranty period differs from company to company, and it’s still worth trying to get a replacement if your drive has failed close to the end of the warranty period.
Hopefully, if the contents of the drive are important, you have also made a backup of the drive.
If you're really brave you can open up the case, replace the hard drive with a different bare hard drive, and glue it all back together.

Most consumer external hard drives are simply glued together, and opening them up can be tricky. On the other hand, if you find the external case to be a convenient size, or you just want the cheapest means of repairing the device, this can work. The hard drives inside the external drive cases are completely standard, and you can generally replace a dead hard drive with a working one, glue things back together (or use rubber bands, if necessary), and you’ll have
a new working hard drive.
 
On the other hand, your best option is to contact the manufacturer and try to get a replacement, if the drive’s under warranty.


1293. Call Times on my iPhone


Rocky asks: I would love it if I could set my iPhone up so it never rang between 9PM and 7AM, unless a family member is calling--I don't want to miss those calls. Can I filter out some calls for a set period of time, but let others through?

This has long been one of my pet peeves with the iPhone. For years, there was no way to filter calls based on time.  But finally, in IOS 6, you can do this. 
Once you have a phone with IOS 6 on it, you can choose Notifications from the Settings menu, and then choose the Do Not Disturb option.
There you can turn on the option to Schedule Notifications and choose a period of time where you don't want to be notified. You can also select to allow calls from one group including everyone, no one, favorites, or a "named group" that you've created. Ken has a group named Family that includes his father, partner, and siblings, and those calls are always allowed through. (Ask Ken about the time he was in Houston helping his father through surgery, and at 4AM his father had to go the emergency room after the surgery and Ken’s phone was in silent mode. That certainly triggered setting up scheduled notifications and allowing calls from the family through!)
You can also set it to allow a call through if a person tries to make multiple calls within three minutes, assuming that it must be an emergency. That way, even calls from folks not on the “preferred” list can get through in the case of an emergency.
In any case, it's really a useful being able to filter calls overnight so you can leave your phone on at night, get emergency calls, and not be bothered by all the rest. Ken’s phone no longer goes into silent mode overnight.

1294. Setting an Alarm on the iPhone, the Easy Way


Jay asks: I often need to set an alarm on my iPhone, and working my way through the clock app just takes too much effort. Is there a quicker way to set an alarm?
It’s weird how much effort it takes to create an alarm on the iPhone, using the Clock app. If you have a recent model iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or iPad mini, it’s really easy, using Siri. Although neither of us uses Siri for much at this point, this is one task at which Siri excels. Press and hold the Home button until Siri starts up, and you’re ready to go.
Siri supports several different ways to set alarms. You can specify a time (“Set an alarm for 8PM”), or an elapsed time (“Set an alarm for 5 minutes from now.”) You can use alternate text, like “Wake me up at 9AM.” (Note that Siri can’t set an alarm for more than 24 hours in advance—for that, you’ll need to create a reminder instead, but you can do that with Siri as well.)
You can easily create a repeating alarm. Simply add the text “every weekday”, “on weekends”, or “every day” to the alarm setting. You can also specify days, using text like “every Monday.” So, to set an alarm to wake you at 7AM on weekdays, tell Siri “Wake me at 7AM on weekdays” and she’ll set up the weekday alarms. You could then repeat the command, indicating your wakeup time on weekends.
You can also ask Siri to show you all your existing alarms, using a command like “Show me all my alarms.” You can change an alarm using text like “Change my 9AM alarm to 10AM.” If you want to turn off one or all your alarms, you can use text like “Turn off my 8AM alarm” or “Turn off all my alarms.” Finally, you can cancel an alarm or all your alarms, using text like “Cancel my 8AM alarm” or “Cancel all my alarms”.
Although Siri has limited abilities (other than amusing you by answering questions like “What’s the meaning of life?” and “What’s the best smartphone?”), she excels at setting alarms (and similarly, reminders). Take some time to experiment with her time-based abilities—we think you’ll appreciate her a lot more.

1295 Google Maps not on IOS 6

Tom asked: I've heard the new Maps app on iOS 6 is a real mess. Is it? If so, should I avoid updating to iOS 6? Is there something else I can use?


IOS 6 on the iPhone is definitely a worthwhile upgrade because of all the new features.  But they did remove the Google maps app from this version of IOS and inserted Apple's own  Maps app instead which is incredibly frustrating. 

It does add turn by turn directions which is great but the maps are  difficult to read and the data is often incorrect.  They're working on the application and overtime I'm sure it will get better but for now there are other maps applications you can use that are quite good.  

Nokia recently released an application of its own and it does mapping a lot of people really like. You can search in the App Store for maps applications and look for various alternatives. 

You can also just set a bookmark to Google maps and save it on your desktop so that you can just open up a web browser and get to the maps that way. It doesn't have the same full functionality as a maps application would but it does get you back to Google maps.

Revision (Feb 5 2013): Google did finally release an iOS 6 version of Google Maps. It runs on iOS6, but isn't well integrated--there's no way to have links automatically open in Google Maps, for instance. On the other hand, the interface and behavior (as well as the maps database itself) is so much more mature and useful than Apple's Maps app, it's totally worth downloading and using Google's Maps app. I heartily recommend this new app, even though it's not as well integrated as Google Maps was in iOS 5. 


1296. Sell used computer equipment online


Marty asked: I've got a bunch of name-brand computer hardware that's a little out of date, and I'm not using it any more. Is there an easy way to sell this stuff? I don't have the patience to deal with eBay selling--I've heard too many horror stories. Are there other, simpler options?

I know everyone has different experiences, but I had a terrible time selling things on eBay. I've had crooks sign up for eBay at the last minute, bid the highest bid on a computer I was trying to sell, and then expect me to send it to them even though they never bought anything on eBay before. 

Because they have no record of buying on eBay, I’m not going to send them an expensive computer without knowing anything about them. There are just too many ways to scam a seller. And eBay is set up to protect buyers, not sellers.

I found selling on Amazon.com to be the easiest way to get rid of slightly used name-brand computer products.  Anyone can sign up for a vendor account on Amazon and then sell anything that already has a page on Amazon.com. 

This means you don't have to take photos of things, and you don’t have to write up sales material and find out all the specs of things you want to sell. All you need to do is list the items.  I have sold thousands of dollars worth of slightly used stuff on Amazon.com.  I have even sold books, although it's hard to sell books because people sell them for almost no profit at all.  (Selling books works best for technical books, or for specialty/art/antique books. Best-sellers have no resale value on Amazon.com.)

You can also be brave and try Craigslist (http://www.craigslist.com)--my brother has had good success selling everything from used batteries to old reel-to-reel tapes on Craigslist. One big caveat: selling on Craigslist requires 3D contact with the buyer, and you have to arrange for the sale to take place in a public, safe place. Because there are no real protections in place when selling via Craigslist, you must be careful about where and how you transact the sale. You’l find more information about safe Craigslist sales online, and in some cases, it’s really the best way to move used equipment.

Of course, I would be remiss were I not to mention our local Swap Shap program on KNCO (http://swapshop.knco.com/). You may find this the simplest way to sell used equipment, although it does limit you to a local audience.

 

1297. USB 2.00 vs. USB 3.0




Kate asked: I've heard about USB 2.0 and USB 3.0--is there a real
difference besides 1 USB? Can I use USB 2.0 peripherals if I have a USB 3.0
port? Do I need a different connection? What's the difference?


Well sure: USB 3.0 is one bigger,
so it's got to be faster and shinier! Well, you can believe that if you like,
but it actually is a much faster protocol for transferring data than was USB
2.0.


There are two main differences
between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0: USB 3.0 transfers data much faster, and it
provides more power through the port, so it can support higher-powered
connected devices. It supports handling two connected devices concurrently
(which USB 2.0 did not) and it uses less power, so connecting a device using
USB 3.0 to your laptop will consume less power than using a USB 2.0 device, and
the battery will last longer. Lots of people use USB for connecting hard drives
(and USB thumb drives, or USB sticks) and it allows you to transfer data faster
between the computer and the connected device. How much faster? In some cases,
up to 10 times faster. That’s a measurable difference in speed! It’s kind of
like being forced to drive at 5 MPH down the street, and then suddenly, finding
that you can drive 50 MPH instead. You would certainly notice the difference.


Most computers built in 2012 or
later include at least one USB 3.0 port. Look carefully at the port on your
computer, and you should be able to see if it supports USB 3.0. In addition,
USB 3.0 ports tend to be colored blue (as are most of the USB 3.0 cables). And,
to make it even more interesting, the computer end of USB 3.0 cables looks
pretty much the same as USB 2.0 cables, but the peripheral end (the end you
plug into devices) has changed.


You can continue to use your USB
2.0 peripherals in a USB 3.0 port—that’s the beauty of having the computer end
of the cable remain unchanged. You won’t see any speed improvement, however.
I've heard apocryphal knowledge that even USB 2.0 devices run a little bit
faster when connected via USB 3.0 ports, although I find that hard to believe.


If you’re buying a computer now,
make sure it has at least one USB 3.0 port. You may not currently own any USB
3.0 peripherals, but the speed difference is so great, it’s worth considering
replacing USB backup and thumb drives with USB 3.0 versions, once you have the
port available.


1315. Email Return Receipt Requested?

I sometimes receive an email that I open and I see a pop up message
that says the sender requested a receipt confirmation. What does this mean? And
what should I do?

Some people feel the need to be
notified when and if I open their email. Not all email systems support this
feature, and those that do handle it differently. But from your perspective,
receiving the email, you don’t care how it works. It’s just somewhat intrusive,
and to be honest, we’re not thrilled having people know the details of our
email reading habits.

From the sender’s point of view,
you have the option on most email clients of requesting a receipt when the user
has opened your message. Once that happens, you’ll see an email in your inbox
indicating that the recipient has opened the message. (Of course, the receipt
will most likely say that the recipient has “read” the message, but there isn’t
any guarantee of that. We’re humans, after all.)


You always have the option to
opt out of sending the receipt, and we recommend that, unless the email comes
from a business associate and you want the sender to know that you’ve read the
message, you should opt out. You have no obligation to let anyone know that you
have opened their email.

If the email comes from a vendor
you haven’t done business with, or from someone you don’t know, you should
never even open the email. Unfortunately, the world is full of “evil” people
working hard to make your life more difficult, and email message can contain
bits of program code or markers that can send information back to the sender
without your knowledge. Malicious emails that you open and view in your email
client can, and sometimes do, install software onto your computer that can
cause all sorts of trouble. In other words: If you don’t know the sender, or
have any reason to believe that the email is a fraud, don’t open it. Delete it!
(And that’s not really a tight enough filter—recently, there have been a spate
of emails sent through Yahoo/SBC Global/AT&T email servers that come from
someone you know, and contain only a link. Even though these emails come from a
friend, they’re malicious. If you see an email with only a link to a web page
in it, delete it. Don’t even think about clicking the link. We have been
getting these emails recently from friends who are no longer alive. It’s
upsetting.)

If you find that your email
provider and/or email client does not allow you to reject receipt requests, we
suggest that you switch email clients and/or email providers. We’ve talked
several times in the past about the reasons to not use email addresses provided
by your ISP, and this may be the impetus to get you to switch. Remember: Unless
the email receipt request comes from someone you know, and unless you really
want that person to know that you have opened their email, you should reject
the receipt request.  No one needs to
know when and if you opened their email, otherwise.



1310. How do I send output from my MacBookPro to my TV?

I recently had to use my Mac to give a presentation to an audience using a big TV screen. I couldn't figure out how to connect my Mac to the TV to get both audeo and video coming through the TV. What's the best answer.

If you want to have an ongoing need to show videos from your Mac to your TV then I suggest you look into the Apple TV product. However if you want to us your Mac for presentations on various TV/monitors then you only need to purchase some cables that connect your Mac to the TV. 

Most of your newer TV's have HDMI input for both audeo and video inputs. Your newer Mac are able to send audeo/video with the Apple HDMI to HDMI Cable (1.8 m) Moshi Mini DP to HDMI Adapter with Audio Support.  

Be sure to check with your local Apple store to make sure Mac supports this kind of hookup. For under $50 you can give professional presentations using you Mac and your TV.


1311. Did you know you can "Rent Office Professional Plus 2010?

Did you know you can "Rent Office Professional Plus 2010?

With cloud computing so popular you can "rent" or "lease" the most popular Office suite of products. If you use Skydrive or Office 365 cloud services or even if you use Google apps or even no cloud services you can now rent Microsoft's Office Professional suite by the month.  

The price is as little as $12.00 per month for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note, and Outlook. The same software to buy even at a discount is between $300- $400.00. Renting is a good opportunity to save some money and when the software is upgraded to the new release you don't have to buy a whole new product.  

You simply upgrade to the new release and continue to pay the monthly fee. Go To Malibu Software and request a free trial.


1312. Sam asks: I have a Mac. Can I use Office 365?

Sam asks: I have a Mac. Can I use Office 365?

Yes cloud computing has made Google Apps and Office 365 popular. 

Both of these cloud products work with Mac computers as well as they work with the Windows systems.  

The Mac works great and in many cases better. Office 365 is a browser based cloud application that works with most browsers on the Mac or Windows computer. But It also works with Microsoft Office 2011 for the Mac Service Pack 1 or later..  

Some features are a little different, but for the most part the Mac works the same. There are some restrictions when you are using the meeting presentation features of Office 365. 

See the Microsoft web sites for Office 365. Or get a free trial from Malibu Software our local Microsoft partner.

1313. Patti has an iPhone. She just bought an iPad and wants to browse the internet but doesn't want to pay for a new cellular connection. Can this be done?

Patti has an iPhone. She just bought an iPad and wants to browse the internet but doesn't want to pay for a new cellular connection. Can this be done?

You have probably seen new advertising on TV that talks about "Hotspots". This allows a smartphone like the iPhone to share it's cellular internet connection with up to 5 or 10 other devices. 

It is the same as having your own WiFi on your phone that you can share. This is a very inexpensive way to provide internet access to your iPad and even your computer if it has a wireless connection.  

You have to remember that you are sharing a slow connection even with the faster 4G speeds that are advertised. You also need to always have the device that has the Hotspot feature. You are sharing speed and total throughput.  

Older iPhones do not have full sharing functionality and some smartphones just will not work. Give it a look.  

Most of your cellular providers offer this feature. I use it and it saves me $40 per month.


1314. People always ask me how I solve computer issues. Is there some special technique?

People always ask me how I solve computer issues. Is there some special technique?

My father taught me this before we had personal computers. He told me to solve a problem always "Cut the deck in half". If you need to guess a number between 1 and 10. Start in the middle with 5 and you will always find the number in less than 4 guesses. So maximize your opportunity by finding the best question to isolate your problem.  


When someone tells me they are not getting their email. I will first determine if they have an internet connection by asking if they can browse to a web site.  Always try to eliminate the largest group of possible causes.

Is it hardware or software? Try accessing the email using a browser vs. Outlook. 

Is the email server up and running. Try accessing a different email system.  

What we want to do is always maximize the elimination of what is not the solution. This always gives you the fastest access to the correct solution.  

Remember the search engines are your friends. Use them because other people have most likely had the same problem you are having.  

Once you are in the general realm of the possible solution, use the internet search engine to ask about your problem. It is likely you are not the first to have the problem. Use the incredible internet resource.


1327. I can't change my Antivirus software. It won't uninstall. What can I do?

I had an Antivirus product installed.  It wouldn't uninstall.  Now I can't install it.  What should I do?

All of a sudden they saw messages saying the software was no longer current and you had to upgrade.  They paid for the new license followed instructions but continued to get the message.

It turns out that the new license required them to upgrade to a new version of the software.  However the old version did not get removed by the upgrade and the new version would not install.

It turns out that this compony has had many problems with this.  They have special tools that they will send to you to uninstall and re-install their software that is not part of the standard upgrade.

It is not important which company this is because it can happen to the best.

What is important is don't ignore the error messages, and follow up with the vendor to make sure their software is installed correctly.

And if they try to sell you a up-sell to get their software installed DO NOT LET THEM.  This is a scam.  Why should you have to pay them extra to install their product.

What they do then is connect to your computer and tell you the problem is with Windows or the Mac and for an additional $150.00 they will fix it.

Request your money back and find new software.

1322. Error on web page. How can I fix this?


I go to a web site and I see errors and format problems in my browser.  What is this all about?

A web page is formatted using many different computer languages and techniques.

To access a web page we use a special program that comes with your computer whether it is a Windows or Mac PC.  This program is called a BROWSER.

The Windows computer comes with Internet Explorer.  The Mac comes with Safari.

There are 3rd party manufacterurs that also have browsers called Chrome, FireFox, and more.

You can install any of these browsers on your PC.  All of them have different versions and may act differently interpreting the language of the web site you are visiting.

So if you see a page that produces an error or just plain looks strange try another browser.

You can search the internet for the different browsers and download and install them.  Be careful when you do this as they will likely want to be the new default brwoser and you probably do not want to do this until you are satisfied that this is the browser for you.

You can always change which browser you use by selecting the brwoser to open your web site.



1323. How can I save my membership cards on my phone?


You have a bunch of plastic cards for memberships, like Safeway, CVS, Costco etc.  My wallet is full.  Is there some way to carry these in my smartphone?

I found an app that allows me to store the card information in my smartphone.  The one I use is called Cardstar, There are other like Key Ring and Card King. . Search for these apps at your online store.

These apps allow you to define the account, and then save the membership information.  It will scan the bar code and create an image in your phone.

You can then bring up this picture at the check out counter and most scanners will be able to capture the bar code from your phone.  Some scanners don't work with this technology  but you can always read the code to the person.

So even if it can't be scanned you don't need to carry all of those cards that make your wallet full.

I love technology!

1324. How can I keep my contacts and calendar in sync on my computer and mobile devices?


Margaret wants to know why she entered contact and appointment information into her iPhone and it did not appear in her email contacts and calendars.

I have found a number of people with this problem.  Especially if you  have more that one email account.

When you enter your email account you want to make sure your set the default account for your mail, contacts, and calendar information.  These settings appear below your list of accounts in the settings section of your smartphone and tablets like Android,, and iPad.

I noticed that this is especially a problem if you have set up iCloud on your Apple devices.  They make the iCloud account the default for some of these settings.

Once you have set the proper defaults on all of your devices, make sure you test everything by entering a new contact in your phone.  Then check your computer contacts to make sure it appears there.  Make some changes in the computer contacts and check to make sure they appear on the mobile devices.

Do the same test for a calendar event.  You don't want to add an appointment on your home computer and not get a reminder notice on your phone.

Remember to set up the defaults so all your contacts, email, and calendar data is in sync on all your devices.


1325. Why don't I own my domain name?


I tried to change information about my domain name.  I couldn't because I don't show as the owner.  What can I do?

So your decide to get your own domain name because you want your own web page or a more professional email address not something @gmail.com or sbcglobal.com.

You ask a friend for some technical help and you get your domain name and new email address.

Later you want to make changes and you find out your domain name is registered under someone elses name.

This can be a problem.  Your domain name has great value for you.  It is your Brand.

If the person that helped you is honest they just made a mistake and you can have your domain name transfer ed into your name.  It is easy but can take up to 2 months and requires cooperation from the "owner - registrant".

If the person was not so honest they can make it very difficult to get control over your domain name.

If you were lucky enough to get the domain name beer.com in the  1990's and now you find out someone else shows as the owner,  it may be very expensive or impossible to get your asset back.  That domain name recently sold for over $5M.

Or what if the current owner dies.  Now you need to go after your property though their estate.

We can help you register your domain name correctly and get your ownership back if for some reason it was not properly registered.  Send us your concerns at questions@techtipguys.com.

You can check to see who owns a domain name by going to whois.com.





1316. Shortening Long URLs


In emails I receive, and in your tips here, I often see web addresses that include things like goo.gl and bit.ly. What are these? Are they safe? They look awfully suspicious!
We can't promise that any specific URLs are particularly safe, but these kinds of URLs on their own aren't any more dangerous than any other URL you might click on.  But what are they?
As you know, many URLs can be lengthy (try looking in the browser’s URL bar when you shop on Amazon.com, for example—the URL is long, like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1478242779/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d4_i6?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-5&pf_rd_r=18WZHRTY70743PVFH8JM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938731&pf_rd_i=507846/. If you want to send someone a URL in an email message, it’s possible the URL will wrap with line breaks so that the recipient can’t simply click on it to navigate to the correct site. Or, you might want to send a URL in a tweet, or in a text message, both of which have character limits.
To work around this problem, several different sites have created URL shorteners, which maintain an internal list of the original URLs along with a custom “short” URL that redirects to the same site. You can easily create a shortened URL from any long URL, using the services provided at http://goo.gl (a service provided by Google) or http://bit.ly (to name just a few). In each case, you can navigate to one of those sites, type in the long URL, and the site will provide you with a corresponding short URL for use in emails, tweets, or texts (or printed articles, like these tips).
Several URL-shortening sites also provide browser add-ins to make it easier to shorten URLs. If you add the goo.gl URL Shortener add-in (http://goo.gl/ygGS6) to Chrome, and you can then shorten URLs directly from the browser without having to navigate to a new site to do the job. You can find similar URL shortener add-ins for other browsers and other sites, as well.
One final issue: the original question asked if these shortened URLs are safe. As we said, clicking them is as safe as clicking any other URL (that is, not very safe), but there’s an added risk: Because the shortened URLs really don’t give you any indication of where they’ll take you, you need to be wary before clicking one from an unknown source.  We find the Google Chrome add-in named Expand useful (http://goo.gl/7QmbJ). This add-in allows you to hover over a shortened link, and see the full URL before you click on the shortened URL. This seems like a good idea to us: Verify that the shortened URL goes somewhere you trust before you click on it.
It’s easy to create and use shortened URLs, and although you should be wary of any URL, you should be extra wary of shortened URLs (because they conceal the ultimate target address)—use a tool like the Expand add-in to check out the URL before clicking it.



1317. How do I play Netflix on my TV


I have a Netflix account and would like to be able to watch videos on my TV rather than my computer. How can I do that?

If you were in the business of shipping millions and millions of CD's around the country using the mail service or you had the option of allowing people to watch those same videos by streaming over the Internet which option would you choose?

Well clearly Netflix has attempted to move their business to allowing users to view videos online which cost them far less in the long run.

They made it very easy for people to view their videos on TVs by embedding the software to so and lots of modern smart TVs.  I don't happen to have one of those.

Instead I'm using actually two different small devices - one from a company called Roku and the other at AppleTV. Both support viewing Netflix videos streamed from the Internet onto my large screen TV.  I love watching movies this way and now that I have high enough Internet speed here at home to do it,  it really works out very well.



1318. How do I make Windows 8 look like Windows 7


I have a friend who bought a new computer with Windows 8 and doesn't want to deal with the tiles and the start screen. Is there some way to make Windows 8 look and feel more like Windows 7?

Yeah the problem is it is really nearly impossible to purchase a new computer now that comes with Windows 7 on it. And if you do you want to pay more for the privilege of having an old operating system. But the fact is Windows 8 looks and feels slightly different than Windows 7. Including the tiles in the start screen and it's hard to get used to.

If you prefer not to bother there are tools you can use and install on Windows 8 to make it work more like Windows 7.

One of them is the Skip Metro Suite.  It's a little hard to find this tool but what you do and install it, it allows you to turn off many of the notification then slide in bars that Windows 8 provides.

Another one is a free tool called Classic Shell that allows you to use the same old start button and start menu that you'd see you in Windows 7. To download both of these tools and install them on your Windows 8 computer of course it still is Windows 8 and you'll still occasionally see parts of Windows 8 pop up.

So you can't avoid the sign in screen for example, but using these two tools and I'm sure they'll be others in the future you'll be able to make Windows 8 as a look and feel more like the windows you're used to.



1319. I Lost my phone need my contact info.



I have a teenage friend who posted this question on Facebook: “I lost my cell phone, and all my contacts. Here's my new number. Please text me with your contact information, so I can put it into my phone.” Isn't there some way to make sure the kid doesn't lose her contacts the next time she loses her phone?
I guess it is a foregone conclusion that your friend will lose her phone again sometime in the future. I'm a little nervous about her posting her phone number on Facebook and even more worried about all of her little friends who posted their phone numbers on Facebook in response to the question. The first rule of Facebook: Don't post phone numbers on Facebook!
But Facebook privacy is not the point in question. The point is: how do you avoid losing your contacts when you lose your phone?
The answer is so simple that it pains us to hear about anyone ever losing contact info. The simple, free solution: Set up a free email account online. Gmail is one of the simplest and most popular free email accounts. Enter your contact information there, so it's stored online. Then sync up your phone with your Gmail account. Any smart phone can do this, including Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. (If you currently have a phone and want to set this up, create the Gmail account, and then sync your phone and its contacts to that account. That’s all there is to it!)
Once you have an online set of contacts, if you lose your phone, your contacts are still stored in your Gmail account online. Once you get a new phone, sync it up with your Gmail account and all your contact information appears on the new phone.
The nice part about this solution is that it makes it possible to share your contact information with any device, and any computer. Not only will the same contact information be available if you’re using Gmail from within a Web browser, but you can sync Gmail contacts with the Mac Address Book, and with some effort, with Microsoft Outlook and other client applications.
But whatever you do, don't put personal email online on Facebook: Sooner or later you will come to regret it.

1320. Windows 8 and my trackpad cause problems.


It seems like every time I touch the track pad on my laptop, the charms bar in Windows 8 slides into view. This is making me crazy. Is there some feature to turn off that will keep this from happening?

No of course there's no way to fix it you're just going to go crazy.

Just kidding your laptop most likely has some software that controls the behavior of the track pad and if your running on Windows 8 the software must have been updated the Windows 8 and there should be an option to turn off the ability to drag in from the edge of the track pad.

If you think about it a the second, Windows 8 was set up  to be used on touchscreens. What you can drag in  from the edges of the screen to cause things to happen. When you drag in  from the right-hand edge for example the charms bar appears. If you do the same thing on your track pad you see that charms bar but apparently you don't want to see the charms bar.

So look in control panel for setting that allows you to turn off swiping in from the edges and that problem should go away.

1321. How can I listen to music on the internet legally for free?


I would like to be able to listen to lots of different kinds of music, and I've heard it's possible to legally play music over the internet for free. What are my options?

In my opinion there are far more illegal options then legal options but there are number of ways to listen to basically any kind of music you want for free legally on the Internet.

One of my favorites is Spotify.  Spotify is a European music service that has come to the United States that allows you to listen to almost any CD or any kind of music that's available in the world.  For free you will have to listen to ads. .

If you want to give them a small amount of money per month you can get by the ads and also listen to music when you're off-line. That is you can store copies of the music on your computer or your phone and listen to begin not even connected to the Internet.

Another nice service is Pandora which again has a free version which includes ads or you can give them a small amount of money per month and listen to any kind of music you like.  On Pandora you set up various stations like radio stations that play different kinds of music. On Spotify it's more focused on finding specific pieces of music you like to listen to.

In any case check out both Spotify and Pandora both of which make it easy listen to music for free or cheaply over the Internet.

1326. Bank deposit with my SmartPhone


My bank is offering an app that allows me to make check deposits with my smartphone.  How does this work? Is this safe?

Recently, Doug’s bank closed the local branch that happened to be situated right across the street from his PO box. (Of course, the mailbox service closed, too, but that’s another story.) It used to be really convenient to pick up checks at the PO box, and then walk across the street to deposit them directly into the bank. Now, he has to drive somewhere to deposit the checks, and that’s a pain.

We share the same bank, and recently noticed that our bank, like lots of others, was offering the option to deposit checks online, using the camera in our smart phones to snap a photo of the front and back of the check. Although our bank is a little late to the table with this option, we find that the smartphone app works perfectly. You snap a photo of both sides of the check, enter the amount, and the app whisks the information off to the bank with the check immediately deposited. You don’t need to send them the check: We just mark ours as “deposited” (so we don’t try to deposit them again) and file them away.

Always suckers for new technology, we’ve been trying this technique for several months, and it appears to work great. There are limits to the amount of money you can deposit monthly using the smartphone app, so as long as you’re aware of the limit, you’ll be set. The lighting also makes a difference, in terms of the success of taking the photos, so ensure you have plenty of lighting and no glare when you snap photos of the checks.

As with any online service, you need to be aggressively aware of your password and its ability to get stolen when using any online banking app. We suggest you set up a strong password (at least 12 characters, including numbers and symbols, and a mix of upper and lower-case letters) for your banking account. The smartphone app uses the strongest encryption it can, and it is itself safe, but your password is the weakest chain in the security link. Make sure you select one that’s unique to your bank (don’t use it anywhere else) and make sure it’s a strong password. (These suggestions have nothing to do with depositing checks via the app, but are all about online banking in general.)