Oskaloosa.com

January 3, 2011

Kim Komando answers your electronics questions

By KIM KOMANDO
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Q. I’m trying to watch Netflix movies on my Wii. But the video keeps pausing while it loads. What could be the problem?

A. There are two likely culprits. The first is your Internet connection speed. You may need a faster connection. The minimum recommended speed is 1 megabit-per-second. Of course, you might not be getting the speed you’re paying for. Visit Komando.com/news for a link to Speedtest. It will test your connection speed. The other culprit could be your wireless network. Too many people could be using it. Or you might not have a good signal. Both can slow down performance and cause excessive video pausing. Moving your router or adjusting the antennas may help. If nothing else, pause the video and wait for it to load completely before watching.



Q. I’m taking a plane flight with my grandkids. And I’d like a gadget to keep them entertained. It shouldn’t be too expensive. What would you suggest?

A. There are plenty of good gadgets for traveling entertainment. An iPad is a good choice. It can handle movies, games, music and e-books. But, starting at $500, it is rather expensive. You can save some money with an iPod touch (from $230). It is essentially a small iPad. Or, you might consider an e-book reader instead. That would let you take along a library of books. And many can play music. Prices start around $130. Finally, there’s the low-cost, low-tech route. Buy a real book and some puzzle and coloring books. Entertainment doesn’t always require technology.



Q. I’ve noticed my personal Facebook information appearing on various Web sites. I’m tempted to close my Facebook account. Is there another way to protect my privacy?

A. Facebook does share account information with select third-party Web sites. This is an attempt to personalize your experience. But not everyone likes that. Fortunately, it can be turned off. In your profile, go to Account>>Privacy Settings. At the bottom of the page find Applications and Web sites. Click the Edit Your Settings link. Then find Instant Personalization and click the Edit Settings button. That will let you turn off Instant Personalization. The only information Facebook will share is information you have set to Public.



Q. I just bought a new Mac. I’m having trouble using shortcuts. Can you give me some pointers for using shortcuts in Mac OS X?

A. Congratulations on the new computer. Macs do indeed have keyboard shortcuts. In fact, they’re practically the same as they are for Windows. The only difference is that you don’t use the Control key. Rather, you use the Mac’s Command key. So, instead of Ctrl+C for copy, you use Cmd+C. Then you would use Cmd+V to paste. Similarly, instead of switching windows with Alt+Tab, you use Cmd+Tab. For any shortcut you used to use, try it with the Command key. It’s a good bet it’ll work.



Q. I just bought a computer with Windows 7. Now my HP printer and scanner aren’t working. Should I go back to Windows XP?

A. Moving to a new operating system always brings up a few challenges. Printers and scanners seem to be especially picky. That was particularly true with the switch from XP to Vista and 7. However, manufacturers have mostly sorted this out. You’ll want to visit HP’s Web site and download the latest product drivers. These will be compatible with Windows 7. Also, make sure you get the right kind. You need the 64-bit drivers if you have Windows 7 64-bit. If you have 32-bit Windows, get the 32-bit drivers. Otherwise, you will probably encounter problems.



Copyright 2011, WestStar TalkRadio Network. All rights reserved.

Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to Kim’s free e-mail newsletters, sign-up at: http://www.komando.com/newsletters.