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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
A reader asked us whether it’s true that the new Windows 10 collects information on your computer usage. Yes it does, but no, we’re not worried about it (anyone watching us needs serious help). If you’re concerned, there’s a free program to shield you.