June 2006, V5#6: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Are you one of those folks who can’t seem to get the mouse clicking on the right button? Lots of times, it can be as simple as being left handed – yes, a mouse is by default right handed. Do you continually click the right button, instead of the left? If you don’t share your computer with many others, you can change your mouse to respond too your right clicks (just remember that if you do, all instructions to left click will be right, etc. instead):

(XP instructions) Access your computer’s control panel (double click the “my computer” icon on the desktop; in that window, click “control panel”  in “other places” from the left column). In the control panel, double click “mouse” – this will bring up a mouse dialog box. Under the buttons tab, click the check box for “switch primary and secondary buttons” – the graphic to the right will then change buttons. Don’t forget to click “Apply” (right button now) at the bottom of the box to close it. If you don’t click the Apply button, the buttons may not remember the switch.

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November 2005, V4#11: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Organization – part 1

Having trouble finding anything on your computer?  Are you a “file dumper” into My Documents?  Consider that today’s hard drives have space to hold a room full of filing cabinet information.  Too many people don’t treat their hard drive like the filing system it is.  Many of those that do, start out with good intentions and then for some reason, over time, “just save it” with the intention of moving it later.  At best, this makes the file hard to find, at worst it results in different versions of the “same” files or even exact duplicate files (taking up usable space).

First thing to do when deciding on how your filing system should work is decide what level you (and others using the computer)  are at.  Realize that different types of software programs produce different types of computer files.  Can you look at an “open” directory and see the files you want to open and ignore the rest?  Example:  A novice is working in Word (word processor) and wishes to open a photo.  They will generally try File, Open – resulting in “gobilty gook”.  If this is your problem, I suggest start out segregating your types of files – in “My Documents” have a file for each type of program you use, i.e. Word, Works, Adobe Acrobat, Publisher, Draw, Family Tree Maker, Quark, Photoshop, etc.  From then on, never save a particular format file in a different programs area.  This cuts down on trying to open files the wrong way, but adds to your organization structure. 

One way to make all purpose files: click Start, from menu go to My Documents – this will open a window. From the left column you may choose “make a new folder”. If selection is not available, click in blank area to deselect any folders.  (If column is not there , click File, slide down to new, slide over and click Folder)  Name your folder next, and repeat as necessary.  When you are ready to build folders in any one of the folders you have made, double click it and begin.

More next month…