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On this page you will find some hints that will, hopefully, make using your computer just a bit easier.

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There are several ways to approach this!

First some definitions.

Clipboard: This is a storage space that exists within your computer. You cannot physically look to see what is there. (Well, you can but it is rather complicated - so, just pretend that you cannot! ) Once an item has been stored on your clipboard it will remain there until it is replaced, or until you turn your application off. So you can paste it multiple times!

Copy: You are taking a copy of the item and putting it on your clipboard. You are not removing it from where it currently resides.

Cut: You are removing the item from where it currently resides and putting it on your clipboard. (unless you are at a website - then you are only copying it!)

Highlight: You are using your left mouse key to select the item(s) you wish to copy or cut.

Paste: You are pasting the item that exists on your clipboard to the place your cursor has been established.

Okay now - how to:

Highlight: Place your cursor in front of the first item you wish to highlight. Click with your left mouse button. You will see that the first sentence (or in some cases the whole first line) is now shown in black outline with white lettering. This is highlighting.

If you want a single word or two simply hold down the left mouse button and move your cursor to the right end of whatever you choose to highlight, then release the button. If you want just a few lines you can follow that same instruction. However, if you wish to highlight a large number of lines, you can highlight the first line then (without clicking the mouse key again on the surface of the page) scroll down to the last line of the item you want. Hold down the shift key and only then press the left mouse button again. You will see that the entire item has now been highlighted. A quicker method of copying an entire document is to place your cursor anywhere within that document and, holding down the 'Ctrl' key, press the key for the letter 'A'.  That is the computer's shortcut for "copy all". Be careful if you are trying to copy from a web page though as you may get way more information than you want!

Copy: There are several ways to accomplish a copy, some will work in some browsers and places and some will not - you'll have to play with it to know which one(s) work best for you. The first step in each method is to highlight the item(s) you wish to copy.

  1. Click on the edit at the top of the screen using your left mouse button, and select 'copy' from the choices provided.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key and press the letter C.
  3. Click on the copy icon on your toolbar.
  4. Click on the highlighted area using the right mouse button. Select 'copy' from the choices provided.

Cut: There are several ways to accomplish a cut, some will work in some browsers and places and some will not - you'll have to play with it to know which one(s) work best for you. The first step in each method is to highlight the item(s) you wish to cut.

  1. Click on the edit at the top of the screen using your left mouse button, and select 'cut' from the choices provided.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key and press the letter X.
  3. Click on the cut icon on your toolbar.
  4. Click on the highlighted area using the right mouse button. Select 'cut' from the choices provided.

Paste: There are several ways to accomplish a paste, some will work in some browsers and places and some will not - you'll have to play with it to know which one(s) work best for you. The first step in each method is to place your cursor in the exact spot you wish your item(s) to be placed.

  1. Click on the edit at the top of the screen using your left mouse button, and select 'paste' from the choices provided.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key and press the letter V.
  3. Click on the paste icon on your toolbar.
  4. Click, using the right mouse button. Select 'paste' from the choices provided.

The last step in each case is the one that may not work in all areas.

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A cache (pronounced CASH) is a temporary storage area. The files you automatically request by looking at a Web page are stored on your hard disk in a cache subdirectory under the directory for your browser (for example, Internet Explorer). When you return to a page you've recently looked at, the browser can get it from the cache rather than the original server, saving you time and the network the burden of some additional traffic.

How do I clear my cache files?

Steps to follow in Internet Explorer:

  1. Select Tools on the tool bar
  2. Select Internet Options
  3. Under Temporary Internet files select Delete Files.

Steps to follow in Netscape:

  1. Select Edit on the tool bar
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Double click on Advanced
  4. Select Cache
  5. Click on Clear Memory Cache button

If you have not done this in quite a while it may take a bit of time.

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An alternate way to navigate in Word (most word processing packages) is to use the Alt key in conjunction with the primary letter of the function you wish to use. Yes, I know that was a tad bit confusing, so here are some examples:

Alt + F(ile)
Alt + E(dit)
Alt + V(iew)
Alt + I(nsert)
Alt + T(ools)
Alt + W(indow)

In each example the selections are those you have on your Tool Bar at the top of your screen. Yours may differ, depending on which package you are using and how you may have modified that Tool Bar.

In each case simple press the Alt key then the first letter of the function you wan to use.

The little drop down box that you would normally see if you had clicked on that function will then appear. You may then move up or down the list provided by using your up or down arrow. When the function you wish to use is highlighted, simply press the enter key and it will open.

And we thought we were lost without our little mousie!!!!

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While your computer is in the process of "starting up"...either as you turn it on or as you re-boot....

Press the F8 key. If it does not stop the "start up"process immediately, keep pressing the F8 key until it does!

You will be offered the option of running your computer in "Safe Mode" ... choose that option. Your system will continue its start up process. This will take much longer than usual! Your screen will look *very* different once it opens - the print will be much larger than normal and some of your usual task bar icons may not show up. This is normal!

Run your system’s version of Disk Defragmenter - for each hard drive (or partition) you have on your computer. I always run it a second time for each drive (just to be sure!!).

If you have not run a defrag before you should be able to follow these steps to find it on your computer. Just remember that, depending on which version of Windows you are running, the steps may vary a bit.
  Start >> Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> Disk Defragmenter

Plan on each hard drive defragmentation to take at least an hour - maybe much longer if you have not done this ever or for quite a while!

Do NOT attempt to defrag your computer while it is running in Normal Mode. Even if you have all other programs shut down Windows will often conflict with itself and hang you up indefinitely!

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SPAM: Junk mail via the internet! Okay, we all pretty much know what SPAM is. Something you may not be aware of is this: when you receive an email from a source that you don't like and you see a sentence in that email that reads something like - "If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, click here" - DON'T ! Yes, I just shouted!

Let me explain. SPAM is mailed en mass. They are not mailed to individuals, the computer generates many addresses that are similar and mails to them at random. If you respond in any way to them, you acknowledge that they have reached a valid e-address and you'll never get rid of them!

The exceptions to this rule are sites such as "Got Laughs" or "Mad Blast" or "Ishaah Inspirations" or any one of a hundred others like them. Chances are you received a joke or a card from a friend of yours that came from one of these sites and were added to their mailing list at that time. You may safely ask to be removed from those mailing lists, if you got there by accident.

Most of us have a filter or blocking mechanism that our email system provides for our use. That is how you can stop a lot of the trash from reaching your email address.