February 10, 2011

Kim Komando answers your computer questions

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Q. Is it possible to customize the Ribbon layout in Office 2010? Right now, it makes no sense to me.

A. Yes, you can customize Office 2010’s Ribbon layout to put your most commonly used commands within easy reach. Go to File and click Options. Then select Customize Ribbon. You can then select the tabs you want shown on the Ribbon. And you can choose what commands are shown in each tab. You can also arrange commands in any order. When you are done, click the Import/Export button. Then choose Export All Customizations. This gives you a backup of your settings. Plus, you can easily transfer your customization to another computer. 

Q. I’m selling my desktop printer. How can I wipe the internal memory to get rid of old print jobs?

A. The majority of desktop printers don’t have long-term storage for print jobs. Internal memory is used mainly for printer settings. Print jobs are wiped when the printer is turned off. Some all-in-one printers can store pictures and fax logs. Check your printer manual or the manufacturer’s site for the steps to delete these. It is different for every printer. High-end office printers can have hard drives for storage. Resetting the printer settings should wipe any stored information. Again, check your manual for instructions.

Q. I have Windows installed in a Boot Camp partition on my Mac. But I never use it anymore. How can I delete the Boot Camp partition?

A. Boot Camp is a handy way to run Windows programs on a Mac. But, if it uses too much space, you can remove a Boot Camp partition. Open the Boot Camp Assistant. Click on Continue at the first screen. On the next screen, select Create or Remove a Windows Partition. Then click Continue. At the Create or Remove screen, select the drive that has your Boot Camp partition. You’ll want to select “Enable the Restore Disk to Single Mac OS partition.” Click Continue. You’ll be asked for your account name and password. Hit OK to remove your Windows partition.

Q. What is the benefit of having a multi-core processor?

A. A processor with multiple cores is like having multiple processors in the same machine. It allows for parallel processing. This lets the computer perform multiple tasks simultaneously. It makes multitasking smoother. And it speeds up things like photo and video editing. Computer graphic rendering is also accelerated. And it can even help with some games. You will need software optimized for multi-core processors to reap the full benefits. However, almost all new software is designed that way.

Q. I’ve heard that the Internet is about to run out of IP addresses. Does this mean the Internet will stop working?

A. Every gadget that connects to the Internet needs an Internet Protocol address. Websites need them as well. Currently, IP addresses use Internet Protocol version 4. IPv4 allows for roughly 4.3 billion addresses. There are now almost that many computers and mobile gadgets online. Once the addresses run out, new gadgets won’t be able to connect. And new Websites won’t be accessible. The solution is an upgrade to IPv6; it allows trillions of addresses. However, this upgrade will be done behind the scenes. Consumers should have to do very little about it.

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.