Convened at 1:30 pm by Jay Hall.
Thanks to Robert and Evangie Rodgers for the refreshment set-up.
Thanks to Cecelia Vance & Marilyn Bartholomew for manning the sign-in desk.
Thanks to those contributing refreshments: Darlene Bodnan, Marilyn Bartholomew, Nancy Marsh, Donna Gilbert, Mary Walston, Rose Terenzi and Sherry Foecking.

First-time attendees – Bill & Mary Harkell, Betty Griffin, and Carolyn Waters – were welcomed.

The 50/50 winner was Thelma Austin.

The Q&A session moderator, Jim Weiss, opened the floor for questions.

#1:  Nancy Sjoberg reported she is receiving messages that a 7-day trial of the AVG virus scan program is expiring, and she should submit payment. Is there no longer a free edition of the AVG anti-virus program?

Ans: The free AVG program is still available, and can be accessed from www.CNET.com ; go to the download section and look for the free version. Another opinion was that MS Essentials is good, but that AVG is also excellent.

#2:  My Hotmail account was hacked. Is changing the password enough to prevent future hacking?

Ans: Yes. Recommend using a password that would be most difficult to hack, such as using upper and lower case letters plus numbers and/or symbols.

#3:  I have accumulated a lot of old computer equipment. Is there a place to dispose of it?

Ans:  First, make certain to either remove the hard drive or wipe it clean before passing on an older computer. One approach is to contact a person (Jay Hall can provide the phone number) who restores older computers to working order and ships them overseas to a foreign country.

 Another suggestion was to take such equipment to a Best Buy or a Staples store that recycles older equipment. Another recommendation is to take old cell phones to a Sheriff’s office; they “clean up” such phones and provide them to battered women. A strong recommendation was not to just send them to the dump.

#4: How do you get rid of the “free trial” stuff loaded on your new computer?

Ans: Go to www.pcdecrapifier.com and install the free program. It helps you decide which software you can safely remove and will remove it for you. For a new PC consider Microsoft’s Windows Signature edition (for $99 extra) that avoids the problem in the first place. But before investing, read more at http://askbobrankin.com/should_you_pay_microsoft_99_to_remove_unwanted_software.html

#5: How do you change the default program for opening a particular file type?

Ans: (These instructions were demonstrated on a WIN 7 operating system.) One way is to right-click the file, select “Open With”, and select another program. There is a box to check to make the other program the permanent choice. If the program you desire is not listed, you can add it to the list (and make it permanent) by selecting the last option in the list of choices: “Choose Program”.  The list will be shown, and you would “Browse” for the desired program. The method demonstrated was to open the Control Panel, go to “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” and select the file type from the list of extensions that appears. Then click on the “Change program” button in the upper right corner of the screen to make a change.  The list, regardless, may need to be expanded by the non-control panel method.

#6:  What is the best way to back up your computer?

Ans:  One opinion is to use Carbonite, an on-line service. There is a 15-day free trial to try it. And a year’s subscription, with unlimited space, is $59 for the home version. It is available for Mac or Windows. Or use the Mozy Home automatic backup that offers you 2 GB storage for free in the cloud. Or back up locally using Acronis as in #8 below.

#7:   Someone stated that when she is going to print a document, her computer goes to “One Note,” which is a place for gathering, organizing, searching, and sharing notes, clippings, thoughts, reference material and other information. It is part of Word 2007 and 2010, and is popular among students or anyone preparing research reports or term papers.  How do I change this?

 

Ans: Go to start, run (or search in Vista) and type msconfig. Then click Startup tab and uncheck OneNote. Click OK and restart your computer. OneNote won’t start up again.


#8:  A question had to do with using Acronis for backing up; when the person changed computers, she could not access her entire “contacts” list. She was using Outlook (or Outlook Express) for her email.

Ans:  The contacts list is stored in a .pst file.  If only some of the contacts were restored, it sounds like either the .pst file was not backed up correctly, or it is an outdated .pst file.  Try to drop back to an older backup file, and restore all of the Outlook files.  If you do not know what backup program was used, try the Windows backup program, or newer versions of Acronis can recognize files backed up by Windows backup.  .pst files may be found in (example:) C:\users\”user-ID”\AppData\microsoft\outlook – and require folder options to display hidden files, in order to see the AppData folder. (Acronis allows its .tib image file to be opened as if it were an external HDD, with a drive letter of your choosing, and then regular folder navigation can be done.)

#9: How do you remove a parental control setting from a computer?

Ans: Go to the Control Panel > Parental Control and select the User account in question. Choose Off under Parental Controls.

#10: How do I remove an icon from a tool bar?

Ans: Right click on the icon and choose “Delete” from the options offered. Many icons are not removable and won’t offer a Delete option. In that case choose the Customize option and try there.

#11: Comment was made that a technician who works on her computer leaves her with more problems than he fixes.

Ans:  First, fire that technician. Then try using a company, ISORM, located at 14918 N. Florida, near the corner of Bearss & Florida Avenues. They have a reasonable flat rate labor fee of $59 in-shop and come highly recommended.

#12: What is a “profile”?

Ans: It depends. A Facebook or Skype profile generally includes items the user is willing to share with visitors such as their real name, personal photo etc. Other programs use the term for a file that contains the user’s settings, such as personalized workspaces, settings, backgrounds, screen savers, and other miscellaneous options.  To view or change a profile look on the main page of applications like Skype or go to Control Panel > User Accounts. MS Office uses the term template instead.

#13: After installing Picasa, I could no longer attach a photo to an e-mail. Why?

Ans: Select one or more Picasa photos that then appear in the Photo tray below. Then click Picasa’s email button. If you prefer the hard way, click its export button instead, and attach it in the regular manner to your email.

#14: A friend sends me photos using “JASON.” I can open them and work with them. But when I finish, I can’t  edit them.

Ans: Need more info. Questioner please contact jimweiss@verizon.net

#15: Are there ways to send photos other than as an attachment?

Ans: Yes. Because some email systems limit the size of attached files, and photos are relatively large files, another approach is to upload the photos to an album in an online system such as Snapfish, Picasa or Shutterfly.  Next share your album with the person you wish to send the photos to.  That person, or multiple persons, can then view and / or download as many photos as desired. Subscription to these services is free. 

#16: How can I change the size of the pointer?

Ans: (These instructions were demonstrated on a WIN 7 operating system.) Go to Control Panel/Mouse/Pointer Options/Choose size and color/Apply

#17: Can I reliably use the lower priced ink cartridge refills?

Ans: If the vendor is not using the manufacturer’s ink and cartridge, you can have problems. For example, the HP cartridges have a chip that allows the computer to show you what the ink level is in the cartridge. According to Jay Hall, a vendor, LD Products, supplies refilled ink cartridges at a small percentage of the charges by the printer’s manufacturer.

LD Products can be found online using Google.  An example of the differential in prices: for a HP Photosmart 6510 all-in-one printer, LD supplies a 9-cartridge remanufactured package of 3 black and 2 each of cyan/magenta/yellow cartridges for $6.65 per cartridge or a total of $59.85. A recent check of Staples price for one XL cyan cartridge for this printer was $17.99 – for ONE cartridge.

Another person reported using Google to find a “work around” that will release the number of laser copies a laser printer will make from a cartridge. Supposedly, the cartridge is capable of printing considerably more copies than the manufacturer limits the cartridge to producing.

PRODUCT DEMONSTRATION

(These instructions were demonstrated on a WIN 7 operating system.) Frank Zacherl demonstrated use of Slingbox, which permits the user to access an at-home cable program on a computer with access to the internet, such as when travelling away from home. Slingbox  itself is a piece of hardware that costs about $120 to $179 for the HD version or about $300 for the HD Pro version. With the proper cable, a laptop could be connected to a large screen TV in a hotel room.

Frank recommends purchasing the equipment from the manufacturer in case you need follow-up support for set-up and use.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.

 

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