Aug 2007

How full is too full?

We have had several calls in the past week in which the client cannot boot their computer after a crash. When they use their System CD to restart their computer and run Disk Utility, they are met with the message that their disk catalog is corrupted and it cannot be repaired. So what is going on? How can a drive that was working suddenly just stop working?

When they call and we begin unraveling their problem, some will tell us that they were downloading a huge file from the Internet. Others will recount that they had been seeing a message that indicated that their startup drive was almost full, but they did not know what to do, so they ignored it or they were waiting to call us in the morning. What should they have done? When is a hard drive too full?
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Advanced Google Searching

Have you ever wanted to find a particular file on the Internet? You might be looking for a specific music file, pdf, or photo. Normal Google searches show you web pages. This tip will allow you to search for directories with specific files.

The type of search we are going to perform is one using the "intitle:" query. And for our example, we are going to search for the song "Happy Birthday."

Our search query will look like this:

intitle:"index.of" (mp3|aac|mp4)happy.birthday -html -htm -php

Of course, each space or lack of space is VERY important, so let's take it apart.
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Got some time to waste?

Are you a gamer?

I am NOT -- except, sometimes. We bought our first Atari game system around 1979. That was definitely not my thing, though my husband and children loved it! It has been followed over the years by many other game systems, few of which ever caught my attention. Somehow, I am not into first person shooters and the other styles of games that are on most gaming consoles don't do much for me.

However, on my computer, I do have a folder of games. They tend to be be puzzle, word and card games. Over the years, I have learned the importance of games in working with computer users, particularly older users. We must train our eyes to see details such as links and buttons on web pages, icons and words in application menus and small details in general on the computer screen. Click here to read more...

Can't Get on the Internet?

It happens to all of us -- and all to frequently to those of us who live in thunderstorm country where surges, spikes and brownouts cause electrical disrutptions.

You were on the Internet yesterday (maybe even earlier today) and now you can't get online. So what in the heck is going on?

Our first reaction is to call our ISP (Internet Service Provider). And their first reaction is to make changes to your computer settings. DON'T!

I have a favorite motto: If you were on the Internet yesterday, you will probably be able to get there tomorrow, but today may be a problem. But if you start messing around with settings, you probably will not be on today or tomorrow!
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Printer won't work?

Printing problems are the source of many calls we receive from clients. Somehow, their printer has stopped working.

This first thing I ask is "Is the printer turned on?" This is sometimes the problem for clients who have ink jet printers. All ink jet printers should be turned off when they are not in use to prevent the ink from drying out and clogging the printer heads. However, in our days of wireless computing, this means you need to go to the printer to turn it on and off each time you print. If you dislike having to turn your printer on and off, consider a laser printer. These are now very reasonably priced.

If the printer is on, and you still cannot print, the printer may have been "stopped" in the printer utility. Each time you press the command to print, a file is sent to the printer. You can check the status of your printer after choosing Command-P by looking in your dock. You will see an icon that probably looks like your printer. As the file is sent, you will see a picture of a sheet of paper: Click here to read more...