Q: My system failed to boot. I took it to a major computer repair facility. The technician told me that the hard drive had failed and he was unable to recover the data. All my business records were on that failed hard drive. He recommended that I take the hard drive to a data recovery specialist. Anonymous
A: This was a disturbing situation. The customer trusted the computer repair business but the technician failed to provide the correct solution.
09-22-2003 mobile wireless
Q: Can I use my laptop in my car to connect to the Internet?
A: Sure you can but you need a wireless Internet provider. That little wireless router at home doesn't have much range. Do you know that there are places where you can bring your computer and connect to the Internet for free?
Q: I tried to install a program on my computer but the installation failed. There was an error message displayed that indicated I need more MEGABYTES. How do I install more memory in my computer?
A: The first thing to understand is that memory in your computer and disk space are both measured in BYTES. Actually, disk space is usually measured in GIGABYTES and memory in your computer is measured in MEGABYTES. A few years ago, both quantities were measured in MEGABYTES but hard drives have become very large in the past few years.
09-01-2003 boot problems
Q: My computer doesn't boot up. When I turn it on, there is a something about bad blocks printed on the screen. What is a bad block? What could be wrong? Rhonda L, Lowell
A: Your computer is complaining about the hard drive. Here's a few concepts about hard drives to help understand what is happening. The hard drive consists of a set of thin spinning platters, a pick up head, and a circuit board to control the hard drive. Remember old vinyl music records?
08-18-2003 blaster virus
Q: What is the deal with this new virus that is in the news? I keep up my virus scanner up to date and don't open any suspicious email but my system was infected by the virus. What did I do wrong? Tony, Lowell
A: You really didn't do anything wrong. This worm caught a lot of people off guard. This new threat is called the blaster worm or W32/Lovasan.worm. It is a very nasty problem because it demonstrates the need for everyone to have a firewall.
08-11-2003 email on vacation
Q: I plan to go away on vacation but I don't want to be without access to the Internet. Is there a way to stay in touch with email and surf the Internet when I'm away from home?
A: You have a few options available to you for staying in touch with your friends while you are away on vacation. Most Internet Service Providers allow subscribers to read their email on the ISP webpage.
08-04-2003 ISP and AOL
Q: I have an AOL account but I want to subscribe to Comcast. Do I need to keep my AOL account? John G., Lowell
A: No, you don't need to keep your AOL account but you need to be aware of some issues when making a decision about your telecommunications options. It's a lot like choosing your telephone long distance provider. Plans frequently change and there are a lot of choices.
Q: When I read about networking, TCP/IP is always mentioned. What is TCP/IP?
A: TCP/IP is short for Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol. It is the protocol or set of rules that allows computers to communicate with each other over the Internet.