YOUR COMPUTER’S HEART BEEPS

Is your computer hyper tense? Does it suffer from anxiety, mood shifts, lethargy or even narcolepsy? You can get a free checkup at Belarc.com. Belarc Advisor tells you about your dear machine’s hardware, software, security settings, and whether or not you need updates. Our diagnosis: updates of six programs were deemed “critical.” But updating programs in intensive care is a hassle. Have you been to the Adobe site lately? It’s hard to find the update section. We had two copies of Adobe Flash, which is built into Chrome; we got rid of both. We also got rid of something called “Adobe Air.” Then there’s “Java.” Do we really need Java? We looked it up and the answer came back “No!” […]

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A STUFFED IPAD

A friend came home from the Grand Canyon with photos she wanted to transfer to her iPad. She used the “iKlips,” a thumb drive with two ends. One end plugs into your computer and the other into your iPad. She had a thousand photos of the Grand Canyon, which was perhaps one or two more than necessary, since the Canyon is pretty much the same from century to century. But there was no room left on her iPad, give or take a canyon or so. What is a shutterbug to do? Well, you could delete some of stored photos. After all, how many pictures of Aunt Bertha do you need? Then if you change your mind, you can retrieve those […]

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BUYING A USED NEW COMPUTER

Buying a new computer is fun and they’re pretty cheap now. But watch out for the online reviews; trust no one and don’t speak to strangers. When searching for “how to buy a desktop computer,” you’ll find articles steering you to computers costing $1800 and up. These are fast and mean but appropriate mostly for people who edit videos or play games. Lots of memory and lots of processing power are important in those areas; for most of us, not so much. Searching for “budget desktops,” you get some strange picks, not all of them ready for prime time. PC Magazine shuttled us to the “Shuttle XPC Nano with Windows 10.” It weighs only one pound and goes for $221 […]

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THE NEW CHROMEBOOK

Topics: the new Chromebook, 3D art and photos, glamorous camping, news, tech tips.

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MAKING MUSIC

Topics: Free music app, refurbished computers, geography game, Netflix Releases,security for Android phones, Dropbox tip.

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HERE’S LOOKING AT EVERYBODY

  If you use Facebook, but worry about it sharing your personal information with strangers, we have a fix. It’s Facebook’s “Privacy Checkup.” From your computer, go to Facebook.com and click the tiny picture of a padlock next to the tiny picture of a globe in the upper right. Follow the steps to increase your privacy. — You might not want anyone to see how often you play “Candy Crush,” or any other application, for example. In that case, change the “public” setting to “only me.” — Remove any apps you’re not using. — Change the information on your profile page and remove the year of your birth if it’s listed. (It’s easier to do identity theft if the bad […]

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SPEEDING UP A COMPUTER – TAKE 5

After we threw Windows out the window and began using a Mac, we felt nostalgic for our test computer, a Windows all-in-one machine with a large screen. It felt real slow now compared to the Mac. Okay, time to go to work. To get to the bottom of things, we brought up “Task Manager.” You can do it too. Right-click the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, or press the “Ctrl-alt-delete” keys all together and choose Task Manager. If, like our computer, your computer’s CPU (the brain chip) is running at 99 percent capacity, that’s a problem. At first, we thought the culprit was Google Chrome. When we switched to Microsoft Edge, the replacement browser for Internet Explorer, the […]

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TURN YOUR TV INTO A COMPUTER

Asus has made a “Chromebit.” It’s an $89 four-inch black stick you plug into your TV to turn it into a Chrome computer. Temporarily, of course.

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WHAT TO DO WITH AN OLD COMPUTER

If you have a computer laying around that’s no good any more, consider turning it into a lightning-fast Chromebook.

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STAYING FLEXIBLE

Bob was wrong about Joe Biden running for president, but he may be right about flexible computers. He predicts that a computer that wraps around your arm will one day be the norm, not a smart watch on your wrist.

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