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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

1399. Lost Contacts on my iPhone?

Carolyn asked recently. I am using Outlook Express as my email client on my Windows XP computer and I have all my contacts stored there. I set up my new iPhone recently sharing my email, but none of my contacts show up on my iPhone. Is there something I can do to make my contacts show up on my iPhone that I am used to using in Outlook Express.

You can simply Export from Outlook Express, then import on the phone, but they'll never be in sync again. You make a change on the phone, contacts won't update on Outlook Express.  

If you want them to be in sync, we suggest using a different email server, such as Gmail or Office 365, which will sync both your email and your contacts between your desktop and phone email. 

Office 365 will also keep your calender data in sync. If your need is to always have this information in sync on your computer, phone, and tablet makes sure you have the email service that supports this and all of the tools on your devices that will allow this to work.

1398. Shrink photos in my emails.

I email photos to friends often and I don't what to send the full large size photos taken with my high resolution camera. Is there someway to shrink them when I try to send the email?

Well yes, there is. If you right button on the photos, and select the Send to Email recipient, it will pop up and ask you what size to make the files. It will give you the sizes if you use original as well as many reduced options.  

This does not change the original size of the photo. Sometimes you just need to use other methods to send photos that are large. Many email systems will not allow you to send a large file or group of files. Some email systems will not allow the person to receive a large file.  

If the files you are sending are over 1 MB in size consider reducing them or using an alternate way to send the files. Try DropBox.com, or SkyDrive.com, or there are services like hightail.com or transferlargefiles.com .

1397. Taskbar moved?

I had a tech support question recently. The person's taskbar suddenly appeared on the right hand edge of their screen and not on the bottom edge of the screen where is normally sits, How did that happen? How did they get the toolbar in the wrong place and is there someway to keep them from doing that again?

This is a feature that many people are not aware of. Accidentally the task bar got dragged to the right edge. You can move it to the top or the left side as well. You can also extend the size(height or width) of the bar if you have more icons than fit.  

It is simple to fix. Hover the mouse over a clear area and left button drag the tool bar to another edge. Then release it. You can lock the task bar so this does not accidentally happen again. Right click on task bar and chose lock.  

This is a good time to learn that if you don't like the task bar on the bottom you can drag it to either side or the top. You can also make the task bar higher if you have lots of items on the task bar. Go ahead and play with the size and location. You may like the changes. Remember to lock the bar once you have it the way you like it.

1396. Hotmail replace by Outlook.com. Why?

I have a lot of friends that have been using Hotmail and MSN mail for years. Some of them have complained to me recently that now when they try to log in it doesn't say Hotmail or MSN anymore it says Outlook. What's with that? I thought Outlook was a program you had to install on your computer.


Yes things have changed. No your friends don't need to buy the Outlook application for your PC or Mac with these changes.  The domain name Outlook.com and the program called Outlook and the browser Outlook are totally different.

I think once you get use to the new look you will appreciate the new features. The new browser programming language features allow all the new browsers versions to do things that required a local application before.  

All of the Microsoft related email domains like MSN.com, hotmail.com, live.com and outlook.com now can use this new "Outlook" like looking browser. It still does not keep data stored locally unless you specifically want this but it has many features the full featured Outlook program has. I still use my full version of Outlook 2013, but if I am on a friends computer or a kiosk somewhere I like the fact that when I use the new Outlook browser interface I feel like I am at home with my email client..

1395. Signature on my emails?

You know Doug when I send an email from my mobile phone there is an automatic signature that gets applied to each message. I would like to do that same thing when I send email from my desktop computer. Is there someway to turn that on and set the signature that I add to each message?

Yes there is. For people that use their browser to get their email, the new email services have options for automatically adding signatures to your email. Some allow the signature to be different for a new message versus a reply or a forward.  

If you don't have this option using a browser, you can use an email client like Outlook or Mac Mail. They allow you to store your signatures. Some allow you to use logos. Even if you access multiple email accounts with these clients most allow you to specify a different signature for each account. 

A good place to look for these features are in the Options or Settings section of your email client.

1394.. Windows 7 programs that won't run on Windows 8?

I got a new computer with Windows 8.. I had programs that will only run on Windows 7, What can I do?

This is a very unusual occurrence. But there are a couple of ways to get your program working in Windows 8.  

First there is Compatibility Mode. Find the program and right button click and go to Properties. There is a Compatibility Tab. Try running the Troubleshooter. This may identify the problem and provide a solution.  

If not check the Run in compatibility mode and choose the mode from the drop down list. This will likely solve 99% of the problems.  

If it doesn't Windows 8 has an optional feature that you can turn on called Hyper-V. If your computer is a 64 bit processor and has more than 2 GB of memory you can try installing this feature. It allows you to run a full version of Windows 7 or other Windows releases as a Virtual machine. You may need some technical help with this, but the other 1% of the problem will likely go away and you will be able to run your older application.



1393. Drag a window to an edge on my Mac?

One of my favorite features in Windows 7 and 8 is the ability to drag a window to an edge, and have the window snap to the edge, filling half or all of the screen. On the Mac, that feature doesn't exist. Is there some way to emulate that feature on the mac?


That's one of my favorite features to it I really missed it on the Mac. I kept trying to drag windows to the edge and they just didn't do anything. 

I did find application that emulates that feature and actually does a better job than Windows does. It's called Cinch and it's from the Irradiated Software. It is not free but it's pretty cheap and I find it really useful. Go to irradiatedsoftware.com/cinch/ and you'll find information about trying out this really useful utility that allows you to drag the window to the edge of the screen and have it fill the entire screen or dock to one of the edges of the screen.



1392. How can I sell my old phone?

I heard there's a new iphone coming out this fall. I'd like to get a new one, but in order to do that, I need to sell my old one. I don't want to deal with auctions or selling to someone who might try to rip me off. Are there other options?


I am hoping that you are not thinking your friends would try to rib you off. Are you?  

But really Craigslist.com and eBay.com are both a pain to use to sell used gadgets. On the other hand there are other sites you can use that offer a fixed price for recent model gadgets and they often give pretty good value. 

One that I've used is called sellmymac.com another one called gazelle.com. Amazon.com often has options to purchase and resell your used iPhones and so on. And eBay has a new service "eBay My Gadget" that allows to indicate what you have to sell and they'll give you a fixed price offer.

In each of these cases the company then resells your gadget to somebody else that you don't worry about. They offer you a bid on your device,  you box it  up and send it to them and as long as it is in the condition that you say it is when you get the bid you'll get the money that you've asked for. 

I've done this two or three times and each case gets worked fine. Don't be afraid as long as you're using a well-respected site like "SellMyMac", "Gazelle" or "eBay my gadgets".

1391. Microsoft Office Documents - Options.

Don asked: I need to work with Microsoft Office documents, but I'm self-employed and can't afford to purchase a copy of Microsoft Office. Do I have other options?


A few years ago there might not of been many options but nowadays there are several different things you can try. 

First of all Microsoft itself publishes Office 365 and provides an online very inexpensive web-based solution for editing Word. Excel, and PowerPoint documents. 

Another option is looking one of the open source applications that allows you to edit Microsoft Office documents. There are two that I know of. One called LibreOffice.com and one called OpenOffice.com. Both of them are very popular, a lot of people use them, and they're both free to download and use on your computer.

They both work on Windows and Mac machines as does the web-based version of Office 365.  Office 365 isn't free but it is directly from Microsoft. 

Check these out and see which one of them will work best for you. 

In addition to the web-based Microsoft offerings if you paid them a little bit more per month you can also get downloadable copies of the application that will run on your local computer. You need to pay a monthly fee to use them but if you're job is short lived you can always use them just for the month you need them and then cancel your subscription.

1390. Amber Alerts - iPhone

What is up with the new amber alerts I've suddenly started receiving on my iPhone? I got woken up last week by a loud beeping from my phone. I'm all for finding lost children, but I don't want alerts on my phone. How can I turn this feature off?!


We yes there in lies the problem of keeping your iPhone by your bed. I on the other hand keep mine on the other side of the house so when it beeps during the night I just don't hear it.

Of course people call I hope you're either but that's a different story. In any case yes Apple's turned on it's Amber alert system recently even though the feature had been in the operative system for a while and took everyone sorta by surprise including me.

And when I looked at the phone I realize there is an option to turn this off. If you go to settings and then choose notifications, if you scroll to the bottom of the list of settings there are some government alert options there. You can turn on or off the Amber alerts and the emergency alerts. If you don't wish to get either one of them just turn them off. By default both of those are on and I am sure will agree that finding lost children as a high-priority but you might want to hear about it at two in the morning. 

So you can also use the do not disturb feature on your iPhone to control when you get alerts.  On my phone I'm not getting any sort of noises between midnight and 6 AM unless it's from one of my emergency contacts. You might try that same feature.

1389. What programs can I remove?

I have lots of stuff installed on my new Windows computer. I don' t know if I need to keep any of the programs. How can I determine if it's safe to remove an application or driver whose name I don't recognize?


Every Windows computer has lots of apps and drivers running all the time and some of them you may not have put there.

If you want to see what they are you can bring up the task manager which you can do by right clicking on the taskbar and choosing task manager, or pressing the control+shift+escape keys to bring up the task manager. 

In there you'll see a list of everything that's running. But often do this and then go search on the Internet to see what those things are to see if I can remove some of them. I lead a sad lonely life.

Clearly on the other hand you might want to have an app that would tell you these things. If you go to the website ShouldIRemoveIt.com you'll find application that's free and you can download that will examine your applications and drivers and tell you based on what other people have said which ones you can safely remove.  

I tried both techniques and they both work well and you can use them to clear your machine of things that might not really be necessary to be on your computer and running.


1388. Strange toolbars appearing. Why?

I'm seeing a strange AOL toolbar in Firefox, and I'm sure I didn't install it. How did it get there, and can I get rid of it?


Believe it or not I still have relatives that are using AOL and probably use the AOL toolbar but I'm guessing Doug that you are not one of those people.

In any case it's easy to get things installed as you browse the web unless you're paying careful attention. In this case is easy to remove the AOL toolbar. It's just an extension of your browser and every browser allows some sort of extensions to be added. Every browser allows you to uninstall those extensions. You should be able to find on the tools menu or something like it for your browser an  option to look at extensions and uninstall them. 

If you can't find it search the web for your browser name and "uninstall extension".  And you should be able to easily remove that AOL toolbar.