THE FUTURE IS PLUGGED IN

Here are some facts on children’s use of their phones. Most kids get their first phone at age 10. The most common activity is texting. Almost a third have sent text messages to their parents even though everyone involved was in the house. Seventy-six percent of kids access the Internet from the family room, down from 85 percent four years ago. A quarter of kids now have private access from their bedrooms. Fifty percent of kids begin using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat at age 12 or younger. The study was done by Influence Central, a marketing firm. Making Windows 10 Look Like Windows 7 For $5 we can finally stop moaning about the clunky look of Windows10. “Start10” is […]

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WET MACS

Joy converted to using a Mac a couple months ago, after her Windows 10 machine became so slow she almost tossed it out the window. Then Bob spilled tea on the Mac (It was an accident! Really!) and the rest is history.

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OUR NEW PHONE

Sometimes we pay attention to our own column. Right after we wrote about Google’s “Project Fi” phone service, we ditched our T-Mobile service and signed up. It was, as they say, a moment of epiphany.

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BACK TO THE PAST

Every new Windows computer is supposed to be better than the last. But the old ones do something the new ones can’t: they run old programs. There’s an estimated 250 million Windows XP computers out there. They are powerful computers, better than anything NASA had when they landed men on the moon, and they’re cheap. Joy bought a refurbished Dell for $70. That’s less than we paid for an electric toothbrush. And furthermore, it works great. So what’s the problem? Well, Microsoft has abandoned Windows XP — no more support, no more updates. But that doesn’t matter if you don’t go on the Internet. In short, this has to be a stand-alone machine, isolated. They — the mysterious and malevolent […]

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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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JUMPING OUT OF WINDOWS

Several years ago, one of our friends announced he’d had it with Windows. He went out and bought two Macbooks, one for himself, one for his wife. We’re slow but we’re starting to see his point. Feeling the same exasperation, we recently turned to a Macbook Air we’d had in the closet since 2012.The relief was instant. Websites loaded immediately. Joy didn’t have to do four yoga poses before pictures came in. Normally, when our main Windows computer gets screwy, we set it back to its factory defaults. You can do that with the Recovery option in “Settings” or “Control Panel.” Once you do that, it  feels brand new again. Unfortunately, it is brand new again — all the programs […]

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READER TIPS COME WITH A REAL EYE-OPENER

A reader wrote in to give us some of his favorite Windows computing tips. Some we’ve written about before, one was an eye-opener.

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HOLIDAY TECH SUPPORT FOR RELATIVES

If you’re with relatives this holiday season, you may be tempted to upgrade their Windows 7 machines to Windows 10. After all, it’s free for now. Our advice: Don’t do it, or be prepared to roll it back to Windows 7. You have 30 days after installation to go back.

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READER PROBLEM

Another reader recently upgraded to Windows 10 and said her computer isn’t handling her camera card as well as it did when she had Windows 7. Before she upgraded, she’d get a pop-up message every time she stuck in her camera card. This asked if she wanted to import photos or do something else. That was nice, but now she doesn’t get a pop-up. She’d like to go back to the old way but her time travel machine is in the shop. Well, you can still work with photos the old-fashioned way: Click on the picture of a folder in the lower part of the Windows 10 screen to bring up “File Explorer,” or click the start button and then […]

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FADE TO BLACK

In the early days of computing, we had two colors: you could look at green on a black screen or white on a blue or black screen. Those were the days — exciting! And now we can have those days back using the Windows feature “high contrast settings.”

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