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Internet - Spam - Windows - Passwords - Children and Computers - Hard Drives

BATTERY TIP - LITHIUM RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES DETERIORATE QUITE RAPIDLY EVEN WHEN NOT IN USE: Be aware that if you buy a spare battery for your laptop or other device it will lose 20% or so in its first year. That will also happen in the second year and so on. You could reduce the annual loss of capacity to about 6% by keeping it in a refrigerator. Also if the battery you wish to store is only charged to 40% instead of 100% that will reduce the rate of deterioration considerably.

Delay purchasing that spare or replacement if you can, never buy a battery that has been on a shelf for more than a month or so, or stored at a high temperature, however I do not know if keeping it in a freezer is a good idea, any ideas? -- Tips Teller

Problems Defragging? You will get a better job done if you put your computer in safe mode first. The computer loads in Safe Mode if you hold down the F8 key while it is booting up -- Greycloak

Getting the pages Correctly Sized in Adobe Acrobat. Ever had a problem with Adobe Acrobat producing differently sized pages? The answer is to print the page in question to a PDF file rather than a printer. When you select 'PRINT' and the window appears yow will be able to select however many printers are installed plus an option to print to 'Adobe PDF'.

Depending on software versions and printer type you will be given the option to scale the picture or to select different 'Dots Per Inch' settings. You may have to click on the 'Advanced' button to do this.

More on:- http://www.uspto.gov/teas/resizingPDFfile.html

Short Cuts:When using Exel, you can use F2 or Double-click inside the box to directly enter data or formulae, In Windows one can quicKly switch between applications by pressing Alt+Tab Use Alt+F6 to switch between documents. -- Levitator101 For more Windows shortcuts go to Shortcuts

Windows Tips & Tricks Need to shut down or restart your computer in a hurry? No problem, hold down the SHIFT key while selecting Shutdown or Restart. Windows will restart with the message 'Windows is now restarting….' Instead of a full-blown system re-boot. -- Mark A. Toddington, Computer Technician, MatSys Computer Solutions,

Format Painter: - When using Format Painter a double-click gives repeat properties; simply place the cursor over the format you wish to copy, click, then select the format painter icon and double click. A single click gives a single-shot capability. -- DM

More Word Shortcuts: -- Ctrl+W = Close doc -- Ctrl+N = New Document -- F7 will load the spell checker, Note also that ' Options' in the 'Tools' menu has a wealth of functions -- Davina Martin

POP UP MESSAGES Are you plagued with annoying pop-up messages? Quite often they are trying to sell you a cure for the annoying problem that they are causing in the first place.

Getting rid of them is quite a simple procedure, you will have to disable the messenger service or "net send" function (Not MSN Messenger). The following instructions apply to both XP Home and XP Professional:

Click Start > Run and type "services.msc" (no quotes) in the Open: line and click OK -- In the right pane, scroll down to Messenger. -- Double click Messenger and click the General tab.  -- 
Under Service Status: click the Stop button. -- In the Startup Type: drop down box, select Disable. -- Click Apply and OK. 

The pop ups will soon stop after you do this -- Essie 2000

Never tackle a major computer repair job or upgrade if you are tired -- Jimmy Stewart  Stanmore, England

If you have more than one disk installed on your computer it is not always obvious how to configure them. When deciding which disk to make the master (or boot disk) and which the slave, it is usually a good idea to use the faster one as the master. there is always information on the label about how to set the jumpers to set master/slave. You can leave both as masters if you have more than one IDE connector on the mother board and the computer will automatically select the drive on IDE-1 as the boot disk. It is usually preferable to keep CD ROMs and DVD players on the second IDE bus as they can slow down the master drive especially if both hard drives are configured as master. -- levitator

Inexpensive Mouse Pads: Here's an idea for an inexpensive mouse pad. Look in the fabric or craft section at discount department stores for the colorful, (albeit thin) 9"X12" sheets of craft material called "Foamies". They sell for about 99 cents each. If you feel you must have a thicker mouse pad, glue two together. Sure beats shelling out $4 for a smaller regular pad! -- "Tim and Cheryl"

Always Back Up Important Documents. Have one, preferably 2 backup system for your data.  We were burgled and the thieves took the backup tapes as well. It is a good idea to keep a set of data at home or at another location.  

AntiVirus Software For anyone needing AntiVirus software from an experienced company works brilliantly regular updates and to top it all it's FREE go to Computer Associates Site which is www.cai.com and you can download INOCULATE PERSONAL EDITION a top professional version which gives top class protection all for FREE. Regards Robin Window "Robin Window"

Have good virus protection, Replace the fan every couple of years, Use "Uninstall", most programs make some changes to your operating system control files, deleting the program files will not remove these changes.  Use "defrag" and "Scandisk"frequently. HAVE A BACKUP SYSTEM!

CD ROMs and CDs -- Always wipe away from the center.


Spam

Avoiding Spam:
My first one is one that your site could probably use. There are spiders (internet programs) which collect email addresses by searching all web pages email addresses or for a mailto: link. These are added to the CDs of "over a million internet addresses" which are sent to spammers. A better idea now is to use a form or CGI which does not have the email address on the html page. Another option is to make your email address a gif image so that it can be easily be read by real people but not automatic programs -- Gandalf Parker  

Spamming can be reduced by including "nospam" or something similar inside your e-mail address. I frequently do it on Usenet or when I think that the spiders are likely to scoop me up!!! --

Deleting programs from your hard drive (Windows95/98) Better safe than sorry! Always use the Utility that you will find in the "Settings" Panel (Start/Settings/Add-Remove Programs) or the "undelete" utility that came with the program. If you get messages asking if you want to delete components of the program that may be used elsewhere, then in my experience we you should say no and leave them there. They may be taking up some space on your drive but there is a probability that your system will crash if you remove them. You can get rid of all the programs you don't want the next time you do a low level format on the drive. - Hector Velasquez-Conn,  Perth Australia

Use a Kitchen Timer to tell when you have reached the end of your planned session on your PC. Your productivity will improve if you plan in advance what you intend doing in session. Schedule all of working time spent on your machine -- John Krebs Denver USA

Slippery Mouse? Sometimes it is not enough to just remove the dust from your mouse.   Wash and scrub the ball with detergent and an abrasive pad.   I found that even on poor "mousing surfaces" that there were no more problems with slippage.   Don't you just love the term "mousing surface"?. I found it on one of my partner's computer magazines - had me chuckling all afternoon -- Adele Smith, Darwin Australia

Cleaning your optical mouse - If you do not have q tips or isopropyl alcohol handy to clean the lens of the LED and senser then simply roll a small piece of plain paper into a tight tube and clean away. breathing on the lens should dampen it and a little puff afterwards should dislodge any papper fibres on the surface of the optical sensor. Another reason for mouse problems is the gender thing, if your mouse is a little bit temperamental sometimes then it is likely that you have a girl mouse. -- Darlen Swit

Zone-Alarm is a free firewall software that gives good protection. Adrian Dnes

Sound: You can  made complicated echo sound effects using the pretty basic sound recorder program that comes with Windows . To do this open the WAV file that you want to enhance, and then choose Edit, Copy. When you do this move the slider to the right a little. To get a mild reverberation effect set the slider to about 0.05 seconds (see the exact time in the box). To make a larger echo move the slider even further. Then choose Edit, Paste Mix to finish it. Click the play button to test it out. -- Trev

  DOS Web browsing:   If you have an older computer- or just want speed and no frills web browsing - Operasoftware (http://www.operasoft.com) have a web browser that does not use Windows.   Another advantage is that it is considerably less memory intensive -- Darren Ewardes

Security: keep all of your computer gear away from prying eyes. Keep it all away from the window to deter burglars. -- R Holson

 Windows

Windows: when cutting and pasting text or images in any windows software a quick shortcut is to highlight the text you want to use and then use on of the corresponding keyboard shortcuts. CL + X is cut, CL + C is COPY, and CL + V is paste. -- Anon.

Graphics: to copy an image of the screen onto the clipboard in windows you can press the PRINT SCREEN button (called 'Prt Sc' or something like that on you keyboard). This only works for non-Windows applications only if they are running in text mode. -- Phil D Ramirez

Windows: Do you get annoyed whenever you insert a compact disk into the CD-ROM drive and it automatically plays. Bypass the auto-play by holding down shift whilst inserting the CD-ROM. -- Gareth Richards, Essex UK

Passwords

Be original, make it as difficult as possible for the potential intruder. Don't use obvious ones and change them frequently. If you find it difficult to remember them don't write them down on a piece of paper you keep in your desk drawer or in an easily accessible file.

Using the same one you used last time reduces the security of your information significantly, as does using the same one on more than one system or application.   You are often given a choice about how many letters you can use, use them all. Letters and numbers are better than just letters.   If you are given the option of using upper and lower case then do so.   Be original.   If you are like me and have a failing memory then if you have them written down then use a code to keep them safe.

For a good source of computer security tips and information visit www.privacyfoundation.org 

More on Advice on Computer Security - 9 Essential Computer Security Tips

Children and Computers

AOL has good Parental Controls.   It is a good idea to take advantage of them and others like it. There is no substitute for good over-the-shoulder supervision, and there are some pretty nasty sites and lots of scary people out there.   Always stay involved with their surfing activities.   Teach them never to share passwords or give out personal information.   Ensure that they only ever go into chat rooms using a screen name that does not accept e-mail.

Protect the Kids - Some software to help you limit what your kids can see are: Net Nanny, and Cyber Patrol.  

Prevent damage to portable and notebook computers avoiding moving them while the hard drive is running. This also applies - to a lesser degree - to desktops -- D Edwardes.

Don't Lose a Screw. Screws removed from equipment can be stored and retained in sequence by poking them in to a piece of blue-tack or beeswax -- Roxanne

If you have to keep using the computers SETUP command in the BIOS (when you first switch on your computer) each time you switch it on, check the date it gives you, if the current date is reset to the earliest date (i.e. it says Tue, Jan 1, 1980, or something like that) then the computer's internal battery has probably died and needs to be replaced. - - GK Howard

Keep your computer out of direct sunlight if possible. -- Bill Carlton

Hard Drives:

If your hard drive is more than a few years old pay particular attention to backing up your data.  Life expectancy of drives made four years ago means that around 50% of them should have started to deteriorate - - Rob E - Even more important if you are a heavy user - Ed

To improve the efficiency of your hard disk there are a few things you can do. Deleting any files you don't need is useful (always back up your important files). You can run a disk-compaction program, or you can use the 'chkdsk' command in DOS (always quit windows before using the 'chkdsk  /f' command, which finds and fixes any lost file clusters). -- Anon

Write down the CMOS settings information and hard drive data and any other hardware settings on a piece of paper and keep inside the computer, the next time you have it open you will find the data which could save hours of faffing about -- Robin Gill, Heston, UK

Websites

Google the links back to your Website. e.g. "link:www.yoursitename.com"  will tell how many sites link to yours.

To Find the IP address of a Website. Connect to the Internet and from DOS simply type "ping www.sitename.com" in to the command line. With Windows 2000 you simply call up "Run" and type the ping instruction to the command line.

You can do a similar thing with FTP and mail: i.e. ping mail.earthlinker.net, ping ftp.cybrmall.net etc. -- Mavis B

To Find the IP Address of your Computer. It is easy to find Websitwes that do it for you, simply google "what is my IP address"

If you are part of a LAN network then you will have an IP Address on the network, go to 'Start', click 'Run', a small window will appear, then type in 'cmd' and hit enter, the DOS panel will appear. Type in 'ipconfig' and you will then have your address displayed along with some other IP information - Davina Martin

The Internet and Browsing

Free Starbucks over -wi-fi is not secure. Do not ever do your banking or any sensitive activity through a publicly available network such as coffee shops or hotels that do not issue you with a unique password. It is so easy for a coffee sipping hacker to insert himself into the path of your communications. widely available software makes it very easy.

It is usually OK to use your own wi-fi or the mobile phone network but any open or semi-open network is risky. Criminals have cottoned on to just how easy it is to tune in to your conversations and emails, learning when you are on holiday so that they can burgle your home is just one of the many things that a nasty can extract from their simple hack.

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Techie Stuff: More technical information is available  IRQ list -- ASCII -- Hex Conversion -- I/O Ports -- Viruses

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