Friday, November 26, 2010

Computers Without Tears (computer tips, advice and help)

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle


AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Computers Without Tears, by Volcano Seven


BLOG DESCRIPTION: I have worked with computers for 20 years, starting out with the Macintoshes when all they had were the tiny 4 inch screens and a floppy disc drive to run applications, and now have a Sony Vaio laptop running XP, and a Dell Dimension 4600 running XP. I give advice to a guy with a Dell Inspiron running Vista, and an aunt with a Lenovo running Vista and a Macintosh.

In this blog I'll give tips on how to work with various computer applications, such as Word and Excel, Windows Moviemaker, Freecorder, and so on, as well as how to work with your control panel, your add and remove programs, your anti-virus software, and so on. (I also give advice on how to use the Kindle.)

MY REVIEW: This blog is aimed at the newbie, from youngsters who are getting new computers, think they know everything without reading manuals, and screw everything up, to the older generations who are hesitant to touch the mouse for fear they'll erase their hard drive.

If you need help with your computer - if only to find out what you don't know - give this blog a try.

Posts are made every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Sample post:
If you're reading this blog, chances are you've already got your computer up and running, and are only now facing problems - either with the applications on the computer like Word and Excel, or in your journeys around the World Wide Web.

But I'm a chronologist and I'm going to start at the very beginning.

These days, computers are very easy to set up. All the cords come with color-coordinated tips. You just match the appropriate color at the back of the computer tower. These days, for PCs anyway, it seems like everything plugs in at the back of the tower.

Run out of USB ports? You used to be able to buy keyboards that had a USB port in which to plug in your mouse. Now you can purchase "hubs". You stick one end into the USB port on your computer, and you now have five or six more USB receptacles. (The same as all the plug ins on an extension cord.) Depending on what you're using your computer for you might not need all those receptacles, but it's nice to have if you play games, have flash drives, external hard drives or DVD drivers, and so on.

However, that's for the future. Right now I want to talk about your cords. Depending on how old your computer is -and some people have computers that are pretty old and yet work just fine for their purposes, you might not even have USB ports - those are a "relatively" new thing.

If you look at the cord for your keyboard, for example - if you have a PC - chances are the tip of it, color coded purple, is not a USB port (a very small, rectangular plug in) but rather a small, circular plug in. That's the way all peripherals used to plug in to the computer.

There are so many cords - your power cord from the monitor, your power cord from the tower, the power cord from the speakers, and power cord from the printer (if you have one) that you will want to plug them all into a surge protecter.

And nothing is more annoying than bending down into the cubbyhole of your desk, peerig at the surge protector hidden behind the desk, trying to figure out which power cord goes to which piece of equipment.

The solution? Take some white out, or other non-corrosive marking tool, perhaps different colored types of tape. Place a bit of tape at the top of the cord, so you know what color you're looking for, and a piece of color halfway down the cord or at the bottom, to aid you in tracking down the right power cord.

Also, try to keep your cords with a straight shot to the plug in, rather than having them tangled together. Twist ties help with this.

You may need to identify your cords only once a year...but when it comes time to do it, it will sure make things easier if you have them marked appropriately.
--Mark All Your Cords
--I Tell The Computer WHat to Do

Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Check out the following blogs:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
Rush Limbaugh Report

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