Helping computers with people problems since 1996
Compute This Online
Dear Compute This... reader,                                                       09/09/2009

Welcome to the third edition of this newsletter - it's a companion edition to my popular Compute This... newspaper column in the Home Town News and I truly hope that you find it helpful.

I would like to welcome everyone who signed up for this newsletter over the weekend. I couldn't believe how many people signed up, I thought I was reading the numbers wrong!

Welcome aboard and I hope you find this useful.

Back in the late 1990's I put together a couple of computer seminars called Instinctive Computing and Internet 101. Each seminar was either a full day affair or split up into two consecutive night classes and I covered the ins and outs of computers in a way not taught in schools. My goal was to teach people how to use their computers instinctively, you know, the way kids seem to pick it up.

I charged a hundred bucks a head because the whole thing was a bit of work to put together (plus the math is easier!) but a bunch of people showed up anyway.

Instinctive Computing turned out to be a big hit; everyone seemed to benefit from it (many even wrote nice things in their comment cards) so I ran the seminars again and got the same results. 

Then I started working for General Electric and the whole seminar thing came to a grinding halt.

Fast forward to today and I (no longer with GE) find myself going over an old  revision of the Instinctive Computing workbook with a highlighter, making revisions, bringing it up to today's standards and thinking about the glory days.

And it got me thinking let's do it again...

Let's do this, let's start off with a head count. If you would be interested in attending an "Instinctive Computing" seminar about mid October please reply to this email with the word Seminar in the subject field. (Include your name and phone number, what city you are in and any suggestions you might have in the email).

I'll finish revising this workbook, figure out how many people to expect, reserve a conference room and all the other stuff that's got to get done. I'll keep you informed and we'll work out the details.

This is going to be fun! Oh, and enjoy the rest of this weeks newsletter!


Sean McCarthy
In This Issue
Don't ignore security when setting up your wireless router
Print Screen?...What's wrong with that button?
10 Simple computer shortcuts
Featured Article - Cut, Copy and Paste
Don't ignore security when setting up your wireless router
Wireless Security. Well, actually a Master lock. But the article is about wireless security.
With powerful computers so low in price today, it's not uncommon for many households to have two or more computers.

One of the first things people set out to do is add the new machines to their existing Internet connection.
The steps to do this are easy, and the equipment is readily available and affordable. All you need to do is add a router to the mix and you can share the Internet connection with multiple machines.

With most wireless routers having the ability to connect to both wired and wireless machines, people have the ability to share their high-speed Internet throughout the house without having to string network cables everywhere.

A typical scenario often plays out like this. Let's say you have a desktop computer that's plugged directly into your cable or DSL modem and everything is running fine. Then, someone in your household comes home one day with a new laptop that's wireless-ready. He fires up the new laptop hoping to be able to jump online only to find that there is "no wireless network available" and, therefore, no connection.

After a little research, our frustrated user determines he needs to get a wireless router. So, off they go to get one. After spending $50 or so, he comes home with a nice, new wireless router...

Continue reading >>>>
Print Screen?
What's wrong with that button?
Print Screen Button

You might have noticed a little key on your keyboard labeled "Print Screen."  Like me, you may have tried pressing it expecting the printer to spit out whatever is on the screen. Like me, you may have noticed that nothing happens!

I have gone over all my computer manuals looking for an explanation about our mystery key but can't find one thing about it. Is this just another one of those things that computer manufacturers do to make computing more confusing?

Actually, no.

Back in the "old days" of computers (the 1980's) when everything was controlled by the command prompt, all most people had were slower computers, "dot matrix" printers and low resolution monitors. Hitting the "print screen" key back then did just that - printed whatever was on the screen.

Today, everybody (well, not everybody, but most of us ;-) is running Windows  and using some sort of ink jet or laser printer. There is a lot more going on behind the scenes than there was back in the command prompt days and along with that, a simple task like printing a screen shot (or screen capture) has become more complicated...

Continue reading >>>>
10 Simple computer shortcuts
10 Simple Shortcuts
  1. Press Alt+PrtScr to copy the screen to the Clipboard; in a paint program, press Ctrl+V to paste the image.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy something to the Clipboard
  3. Press Ctrl+V to paste something from the Clipboard
  4. Press Ctrl+X to copy something to the Clipboard and delete the original after pasting
  5. Press Ctrl+Z to un-do the last thing that you did
  6. Press Ctrl+S to Save a file
  7. Press Ctrl+P to print
  8. Press Alt+Tab to quickly switch between programs
  9. Press Ctrl+Esc to open the Start menu
  10. Press Alt+F4 to close a window or shutdown Windows
Thank you for reading. I hate spam as much as anyone so please, if you don't want to receive my newsletters, use the "SafeUnsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email and you will be removed from my list.

I also appreciate your feedback. Feel free to respond to this message with any comments you may have and I promise to reply to you as soon as possible.

An lastly, if you find my information helpful and you overhear someone complaining about their computer, please mention my name or forward this newsletter to them by clicking here. Most of my business is referred to me by word of mouth so without you I would not be in business. Thank you for your support.
Sean McCarthy
"The Mouse Whisperer"
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Featured Article
Cut, Copy and Paste
Cut, Copy and Paste

Talk to any seasoned computer user and you'll find that "copying and pasting" is a regular technique.

It is used to move data from one place to another, even from one program to another.

Many users would be lost without this powerful ability.
Repetitive tasks, such as filling in fields on forms, can be quickly streamlined by borrowing or "copying" data that has already been typed somewhere in your computer and inserting (or pasting it) wherever you like.

Even Windows elements, such as icons, shortcuts, files and folders, can be moved around using copy, cut and paste.

The glue that holds the whole thing together is called the clipboard and this is the part that throws most people...

Continue reading >>>>
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