By KIM KOMANDO
The Oskaloosa Herald
Q. I need a record of recent conversations with someone. Is it possible to print call logs from Skype?
A. Skype call logs can’t be printed directly. But you can copy and paste them into another program for printing. Open a new chat window in Skype by double-clicking on a contact. Right-click in the conversation area and choose Select All. Then right-click and choose Copy Selection. Open a blank document in your word processor and paste in the log text. This text will include instant messages. You can print out the log from there. This only works for one contact at a time. You’ll need to repeat the steps for multiple contacts.
Q. I use ReadyBoost and a USB 2.0 flash drive for added speed in Vista. Will a USB 3.0 flash drives improve performance even more?
A. ReadyBoost uses flash memory to supplement the RAM installed in your computer. Technically, USB 3.0 flash drives will offer better performance. They have faster read and write speeds. You will need a USB 3.0 port to take advantage of the faster speeds. You can add a USB 3.0 card to your desktop. However, there aren’t many options for a laptop. In both cases, though, you are better off upgrading your RAM. Adequate RAM makes ReadyBoost unnecessary in most cases.
Q. My new Windows 7 computer boots quicker than my old computer. But it is still slower than I expected. How can I speed it up?
A. It helps to clean up the programs that run during start-up. Click Start>>All Programs>>Startup. Delete the icons for any programs you don’t use. Then click Start and type “msconfig” (minus quotes) in the Search box. Hit Enter. On the Startup tab, deselect programs you don’t want to run at startup. Search Google for programs you don’t recognize. Finally, open the Boot tab in msconfig and click the Advanced Options button. Select the Number of Processors option. Select the highest setting available. Reboot the computer.
Q. My son is stationed in Okinawa. He has a Japanese cell phone plan. What is an inexpensive way to make a voice call to Okinawa?
A. You can make free calls if both of you have computers with Skype. You can also get a Skype app for many smart phones. However, in both cases you need a decent Internet connection. You can also use Google Voice for inexpensive international calls. Calls to Japanese mobile phones are currently 11 cents a minute. Visit Komando.com/news for links to Skype and Google Voice. Finally, you can use a prepaid calling card. These usually offer inexpensive rates. Just make sure to check the maintenance fees. And be sure you can place calls to Japan with the card.
Q. I want to build a gaming computer. But it should cost less than $1,500. What components should I buy?
A. You will want a high-end Intel Core i5 processor. A mid-range Core i7 will work as well. You also want at least 4 gigabytes of RAM. Get Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium or Ultimate. The graphics card is also important. Either an AMD or Nvidia card will work. A mid-range card is fine for most games; expect to spend about $150. A card in the $250 range will be more future-proof. Your power supply will need to handle all of these components. Get at least a 550 watt supply to be on the safe side. Other components will depend on your budget and needs.
Copyright 2010, 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.