12-29-2003 new computer
You received a new computer for the holidays. It's brand new, you don't have to do anything to it, right? WRONG!
A computer is just like a new car. The car might be brand new but if the mechanic didn't check the oil, you are going to be in trouble quickly. Here's a few things to check on that new machine. Does the computer have all the hardware that you expect? Look at the back of the computer. Do you see a place to plug in your keyboard, mouse, and monitor?
Q: Help! My husband has been receiving threatening pop ups from the FBI. The pop ups state that he under surveillance. He's afraid to go near the computer. What should I do? Jean, Dracut
A: First of all, if you were under surveillance, the FBI is not going to warn you about it. A trojan program must have been installed on your machine, you are the target of a joke. How did that trojan get on your machine?
Q: What is so good about microsoft XP? Why should I consider XP? Can't I just use old "reliable" windows 98?
A: A lot of folks think that XP is not stable because a blue screen pops up and the computer reboots. Believe it or not, the blue screen, affectionately known as "blue screen of death", is a good thing.
With everything on sale during the holiday season, it's a good time to upgrade your computer. Does your computer need more memory? Don't forget, both physical memory and disk space are measured in mega or giga bytes. The average windows 98, ME, or XP system will run just fine with 256 megabytes of physical memory. Have you heard about too much of a good thing?
12-01-2003 software piracy
Q: Why do I have to pay for software? Is it ok to load my software on my friend's computer? It isn't a crime, is it? anonymous
A: There are a lot of people who load unlicensed software on friends computers. They are probably not aware that they are committing a crime. Every software package has a license agreement that describes what you may or may not do with the software product. You need to check the license agreement when you purchase the software to check for limitations.
11-17-2003 lot of files
Q: Will my system performance increase if I erase files from my hard drive?
A: Having a large number of files on your hard drive will not affect your system performance. You don't want to have junk laying around on your system but the number of files on your hard drive will not affect system performance. Consider this, why would hard drives on the market keep getting larger if the number of files on your hard drive causes system performance problems?
11-24-2003 slow computer?
Q: Why is my computer running so slow?
A: This is the most common question that people ask about their computer. If your computer has slowly decreased in performance over a long period of time, defragmenting the hard drive could be a solution to your computer performance problem.
There was an interesting computer story in the news recently. Aaron Caffrey, 19, of southwestern England was charged with a hacker attack on the port of Houston's computers. The attack was a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) that inundates a computer with messages and causes it to crash or become unresponsive.
Q: Recently I bought a new computer. What can I do with the old one? Susan S. Billerica
A: There are a few things that you can do with an older computer. Are there more than one computer user in your home? You could think about using the older computer to read email or perform some non processor intensive operations. If you want to play the latest computer games, the older machine might not be up to the task but it should be sufficient to surf the web or read email. If the machine isn't too old, you can donate it to a charitable organization. Your donation might even qualify for a tax deduction. Do you have any family members or friends that need a computer?
Q: I bought a printer for my computer. What do I need to do besides adding paper to make it print?
A: There are a few things that you need to know about computers and printers to make them play well together. It is always a good start to read the manual or documentation that accompanies your new printer.