12-27-2004 gift computer
Q: I received a new computer as a holiday present. How do I get it running?
A: Setting up your computer can be a bit intimidating but you can do it with a few pointers. Open the boxes and remove the computer parts but don't throw away any of the documents that accompany the computer. Your new computer will most likely include software, operating instructions, and licensing information. If you need to reinstall the software on the computer you will need the software and licensing information.
Q: What does it mean to "IM" someone?
A: IM means Instant Message. IMing is almost as popular as email. If you ask any of the younger generation, they will tell you that IM is more popular than email. The younger people in my household have been known to be have phone conversations and simultaneous IM sessions with the SAME person. I 'm behind the times.
12-13-2004 ebay ghost
Q: Did you hear about the woman who sold her father's ghost on ebay?
A: In case you haven't heard of Ebay, ebay is a website that gets buyers and sellers of items together. Some of the items sold on ebay are a bit exotic but a ghost is really pushing the definition of exotic. Ebay item 5541270243, "My father's ghost - grandfather cane, scared son", was sold for $75,000.
11-29-2004 holiday shop
The Christmas shopping season is upon us. You might want to take advantage of all the holiday sales and make a hi-tech purchase. Do you have a computer user on your shopping list? Are you considering a new computer or upgrading your old computer? Don't just run out and buy a new computer.
Have you installed a wireless network in your home? Are you aware of some of the common problems with wireless networks? The biggest thing that people overlook is security. Why do you need security? If your network is not secure, Joe Hacker, would be able to easily tap into your network to access the Internet or your computer.
11-15-2004 mind of its own
Q:My computer has a mind of its own. Why doesn't it just do what it is supposed to do?
A: It might seem like your computer has a mind of its own but your computer is just following orders. Those orders are the programs or software that has been installed on your computer. Improperly installed software, viruses, or badly written software are the most common reasons for your computer to start misbehaving.
Computers are great tools with many legitimate uses but the bad guys are busy taking advantage of the new technology too. When color copiers first became available, there was quite a rash of geniuses who attempted to copy money and pass it on the street. Can you imagine the financial chaos if everyone with a color printer started printing counterfeit?
11-01-2004 power on/off?
Q: Do I need to turn off my computer or should I leave it on?
A: This is a very popular question and it usually generates some debate. If you have a relatively new computer, the computer will put itself into sleep mode to conserve power after a period of keyboard inactivity. When your computer is in sleep mode, it is using very little power but it is still consuming power. You can usually set the length of time for no keyboard activity to trigger power conserve mode. Check out the power options in the control panel.
I-Spy act of 2004: Congress has voted on an interesting piece of legislation named the I-Spy act of 2004. It almost sounds like the tv series from the 60s but this legislation is intended to put a dent in spyware. If this legislation passes final approval, it will be a crime to access or install a program on a "protected computer" computer without authorization. This is a step in the right direction but it won't completely stop the bad guys from doing things to your computer.
Everyone knows about spam but do you how the term became associated with email? Monty Python, the British comedy show of the 70s, did a sketch that was the inspiration for the term applied to unsolicited email. Some people in a restaurant were attempting to order breakfast but everything on the menu included SPAM. Every time the word, "SPAM", was spoken, Vikings sang "SPAM, SPAM....". Vikings???? This was Monty Python.