September 2005, V4#9: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Internet browser

Your Internet browser could be retaining too much data.  To make it “lean and mean”, start by opening the browser and selecting the “Tools” pull down menu.  Click Internet Options which brings up the “general” tab.  In the middle, under history, click the settings button.  Under temporary internet settings, you only need a fairly small amount of disk space used.  Some computers come set with this up to 40% of total disk space!

January 2005, V4#1: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Photoshop light photo edit

Do you have a digitized photograph that is nice, but has specks or small cracks in the background? If so, open the file in Adobe Photoshop.  Next, check to make sure your tools toolbar is visible (click “window”, if there isn’t a checkmark by “tools”, click it).  On the tools toolbar there is a clone stamp tool (the icon looks like a rubber stamper) that you click to select. Notice the bar under the pull down menus now reflects all the clone tool options.  Move your mouse near an imperfect spot (the size of the circle is controlled by the brush button at the top).  You may choose to play with the options to get what works best for you and the photo. Caution – in Photoshop you can only undo the last step.  Place the circle over an area that looks generally how the background “under” the imperfection should look.  While holding down the ALT key, left click your mouse.  Now move the circle over the imperfection (or part of it) and click.  A copy/clone of the ALT+click background replaces the imperfection.  You can repeat the steps as needed.  This generally works great with backgrounds because, as a rule, they are not too intricate. This method may also work to some extent on the subjects but is it much trickier.

November 2004, V3#11: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Change your screen saver

Right click any empty space on your desktop (what you see when you turn your computer on).  Click “properties” – when the box comes up, click the screen saver tab at the top of the box.  There is a scroll box (with down arrow on the right side) that contains lots of options.  Once you have picked one you like (they preview in the box), you might take the time to explore the other options the box provides.  Last step is to click the OK button.

June 2003, V2#6: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Font Type in Microsoft Internet Explorer

Much of what you see online has the font pre-defined by the person who wrote the page.  However, you might be surprised at the amount of text that is not.  For text that a font hasn’t been chosen, your program assigns and shows the default font.  If you have a font you love to read and it is easy for you, or it shows up larger due to point size ratio, you may want to change the default font.  How to:

click on the “tools” pull down menu then click on “(internet) options”.  The dialog box your get has many tabs at the top, if you are not looking at the “general” tab, click it.  Near the bottom of this tab there is a row of buttons, click on the “fonts” button.  Doing this brings up the fonts box.  Select your favorite font in both lists, click OK, then OK and you’ve done it.

December 2002, V1#4: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Let’s revisit the SPAM problem.  In past issues we pointed out how to block a sender.  But what about all those folks who are sending from new addresses daily that are cluttering your inbox?  You may want to apply a filter (a.k.a. message rule) or two to help manage what arrives.  NOTE: This is also handy to pre-sort much of your mail.

So much SPAM is not addressed directly to you and the aid below will shunt these junk e-mails away from your inbox:

Load the program and click the pull down menu “tools” then drop your mouse down onto “message rules”, this reveals a second menu out of which you will (slide over staying on message rules) click “mail”.  When a box appears you are going to click the “new” button on the right side of the box.  This brings up a new box that helps you set your rule/filter. in the first window you are going to click the rule “where the to line contains people”  this adds the rule to the bottom window.  In the second/middle window I suggest you choose “move it to the specified folder”.  Next you are going to click the link in the bottom window (that has your new rule) “contains people”.  This brings up a box that you need to add all of the e-mail addresses (alias’s) that you have coming into this box. Once all of your e-mails are in, click that box’s OK button.  Next, choose the “specified” link in the bottom window.  This will bring up a box showing your e-mail program’s structure.  I suggest you make a filter file and select it then click OK.  This will bring you back to the “new mail rule” box with your completed rule showing in the bottom window – click OK.  Now, with the remaining box, click the “apply now” button and then OK.  This will take any e-mail that is not addressed directly to you (including if you were a CC) and place it directly into your filter file.  As you have time, clean out your filter file by blocking the SPAM and addressing any hapless emails that got caught there.  My suggestion is to clean your filter no less than once a week.

November 2002: V1#3: Computer Wednesday, Dec 24 2008 

So many pages/sites you will visit have lots of photos and/or music, etc. (bells & whistles) that they take forever to load.  If you are on a search for text and don’t care about photos, music and the like, turn them off to speed your load time.

Here’s what you do:  Load Explorer and then click the pull down menu “tools”, next click “(internet) options” (wording may be different for different software versions).  Once a box pops up, you will click the “advanced” tab at the top of the box.  This brings up a long list of things you can have work or disabled.  You want to scroll down the list until you find the “multimedia” section.  Several items in this section are checked.  For fastest download, click each checkmark to de-select all “play” options. Next click the “OK” button at the bottom of the box.  To check, hit the refresh button (button with white sheet with 2 green arrows circling each other). Please note that this may be done in reverse to get photos, etc back.  Any type of multimedia you want to see, click the blank box (which will check it), click “OK” and then the refresh button.

October 2002, V1#2: Computer Wednesday, Dec 24 2008 

Open your program and click the “tools” pull down menu.  Click “options”, when the box comes up note there are quite a few tabs at the top of the box.  Click the “signatures” tab.  There may be some areas of this signatures area that are check boxes – if you want the statement to apply, click in the box to the left (checking it).  If you want to utilize an automatic (where you don’t have to add it each time), click the box to the left of add to all messages (specific text may vary with version).  Toward the middle of the box should be an area that has buttons on the right of it.  If you want to add a new signature, click the “add” button.  This should allow you to click in the bottom box (under edit signature) and place your signature text there by keyboard.  Once you have your signature text in (I suggest no more than 4 short lines), click the “set as default” button to the right.  Next, click the “ok” button at the bottom of this window.  It will close and the next time you send (new) mail, your signature will appear in the blank message before you begin writing.