January 2010 - Q & A
Display desktop in Skype
Q: I was reminded that Gene Barlow gave a presentation last month doing a demo where he was able to display the desktop using his Skype connections. I looked on the Skype site to see what application or add-on to use. I was not quite sure so I sent Gene an e-mail, but I have not heard back from him. Do you know what he used to display the desktop?
A: I believe what you are looking for is up at the top of your Skype toolbar as “share your screen” that you click on.
403 error on CIPCUG.org
Q: Two items — I tried getting on the CIPCUG Web page this morning, and it would not let me in. I do not know if it has something to do with my ISP, which is Roadrunner.
A: Are you getting a 403 error message? If any of you receive a 403 error message on the club’s Web site, please send me a message. I got a little carried away blocking spammers.
I.E. cache settings
Q: Second question has to do with an article written by Jeff Levy in the latest TOE about changing cache settings in I.E. 7. I could not make any sense out of it. He says do not make it too big because it will slow you down and the default is 50 MB. Why would I want to change it to 250 MB? I do not understand.
A: Just leave it at the default setting of 50 MB. Sometimes when you have a huge hard drive, it defaults to a larger size, so it pays to make the cache smaller because it starts to slow the computer down trying to access everything in the cache.
Printing in Firefox
Q: I have trouble printing in Firefox. In the TOE, Michael said something about an I.E. (Internet Explorer) tab, and I do not understand how to do that. Michael, can you show me?
A: Michael: I can show you that, but I do not know if it will solve your problem. Go to Tools > Add-ons > Get Add-ons (icon on left); in the Search type “ie tab” + enter. It is the one designated as IE tab, not the Corel IE Tab. Then Add to Firefox. You will need to restart your Firefox, and it will come up. Then go to any Web site and right click on the page. … Your problem was print. Here is a print preview and what it is going to look like . . . If the IE tab does not work, try Ctrl-A > File > Print and hit Selection (not the default, All).
If you are in Firefox, you can open up whatever site you are in with an IE tab. In addition, you can do Windows updates when you are in Firefox because IE tab automatically puts Windows updates as one of the things it will do.
Windows 7 upgrade vs. clean install
Q: I want to install Windows 7 Professional on bare metal. I bought the license from Microsoft through an e-mail. They sent me an e-mail and replied, but the link-download file — I deleted the Windows program I had before and am down to bare metal. Can you talk about a Windows 7 upgrade versus a full install?
A: Michael: I think this is something that no one in this room will have to deal with but you. I recommend you Google it only because there are many steps you will need to go through.
Toby: I will talk a little about the upgrade path. First, the Windows 7 Upgrade will allow you to upgrade any version of Windows. If the Windows install cannot detect a previous version of Windows when you get it installed, it is going to say something like “we cannot register it” and will give you failure on registering, but will allow you to use it for 30 days. You can solve that by putting the disk in while you are at the desktop and perform a second Windows install and reinstall it. Windows will allow you to update itself as an update, and it will authenticate.
Please do not make this too difficult. You install Windows from a DVD and it will not authenticate because you had an upgrade version and it did not upgrade a previous version of Windows. Do not put the key in when you do your original install and do not authenticate now. Do the install and get it on the desktop, which is good for 30 days. Now, leave the DVD in the drive, go to the setup file and run the Windows setup on the update disk. It will start it and then ask “do you want to install Windows?” You will say “Yes” and you will think you have already installed it, but you have not because it will not authenticate. It will go through the complete install process all over again, it will install itself on top of itself, but because it detected a previous version of Windows, which was itself, it will authenticate over updates. You can use a Windows update disk to update an authenticated Windows 7 install, not the beta.
Art Lewis: I do not know the importance of this, but the IRS gives us a free version of True Crypt, a freeware program anyway, and if you are carrying around critical data on the flash drive, True Crypt is an excellent way to encrypt it so no one can see what you have on there. I have a copy of True Crypt so if anyone needs it, you can get it from me or download it.
Toby: And if you do not want to encrypt the whole thing, install KeePass from the CIPCUG CD/Flash drive and put all the data you want to have encrypted into that and save it on your flash drive. It will be all in one file so that no one can get to it even if you drop your flash drive and someone finds it.
Picture file disappeared
Q: On my laptop, my picture file disappeared. I went searching, and somehow I moved it to My Docs\My Video\My Pictures. How do I get it back out in My Documents?
A: Open up Windows Explorer and navigate so you can see My Video and on the right-hand side, you will see My Pictures. Click and drag it up to My Documents and let go. Leave it in My Documents where it’s supposed to be. If you wanted to, you could take it out and instead of having it under My Documents, you can have it under your name, and it would be equal level with My Documents and My Videos, etc. In Windows XP, it is a little harder to get to. They’ve done it differently in Windows Vista/7. If you look at Libraries they’ve got Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos at the same level of indentation, instead of having everything under My Documents. They changed the way they do it, but if you wanted to have it like this in Windows XP, you could. The problem is Windows Explorer won’t show your other files as a major heading in Windows Explorer, so it is much more difficult to use. You’d need to create shortcuts.
Q: On my computer, I sometimes want to eliminate a letter, I typed it wrong and it jumps to line below. Or sometimes I may want to enter a word and only some of the keys I believe I have tapped register. Is this a mechanical something?
A: Most of the laptops have a function key that you can hit that will turn the right-hand side of your key pad into a number pad. Therefore, when you press the keys they will do either multiplication, divisions, addition, etc. On the laptop, it will be like the F7 key or sometimes it is NumLock. Also, be careful about accidentally touching the touchpad. That causes the cursor to jump all over the place.
Full image backup
Q: Can you talk a bit about why you would want a full image backup and what program to use.
A: If you have backed up with a Windows operating system and you have the backup image on a USB drive, or an internal D or E drive, and your C drive blows up, you get a new drive, run the Windows disk and go to Restore and your operating system with all your motherboard, permissions, activations will all come back to you. This is the purpose of a backup.
I think it is fairly difficult to work correctly, as Microsoft backup and restore is not the easiest to use. True Image (Acronis), which was demoed here in October, works better, pretty intuitive, and gives you a CD that boots with restore options built in. It does not try to take over your USB drive or whatever you backed up to, and it does a better job of versioning when you start doing multiple copies. Windows 7 backup does a much better job than previous Windows operating systems and is useable.
Firefox vs. Internet Explorer
Q: Why would someone use Firefox rather than Internet Explorer?
A: Firefox renders pages better (or at least more accurately according to international standards), it is significantly less likely to acquire spyware, it is hugely more extensible (there are thousands of Add-on Tools available) and it is rapidly being chosen as the browser of choice by network administrators who have the responsibility of keeping things running at large corporations.
Various sites report that 27 to 35 percent of the hits on their pages are from Firefox. When you consider that IE is installed automatically and Firefox takes effort — and that Firefox had zero market share just four years ago, you have some idea of the momentum it has.
Internet Explorer uses Active X for its scripting language and despite Microsoft’s best efforts, it is still prone to malware hijacks.
Firefox uses Java for scripting, and it is significantly less prone to hijack (but by no means is it immune from hijacks). Network administrators know this and because they are lazy (or just don’t want a bunch of infected computers on their networks) are increasingly forcing all users on the network to use Firefox.