February 28, 2011

Kim Komando solves your computer, social network problems

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Q: I am thinking about buying an iPad. Will it connect to my existing wireless network? Do I need any special adapters?

A. The iPad is fully compatible with standard wireless networks. And it works with the latest wireless encryption. You should have no trouble connecting it to your network and getting online. You’ll also find versions of the iPad that connect to AT&T’s cellular network. However, I wouldn’t buy an iPad right now. The iPad 2 should be released this spring. Its new features will be worth the wait. The price of the original iPad may also drop when the iPad 2 is released. So you may get a better deal on that model.

Q: I heard that Facebook added encryption. How will it help me? And is it turned on automatically?

A. Facebook recently added the option to encrypt your sessions. Data sent between your computer and the site is scrambled. This makes it more difficult for hackers to intercept your data. However, it isn’t turned on by default. That’s because it can interfere with some Facebook functions and apps. To turn it on, go to your profile. Go to Account>>Account Settings. Scroll down until you see Account Security and click the Show link. There will be a Secure Browsing section. Click “Browse Facebook on a secure connection.” Then click Save.

Q: How do you uninstall programs on a Mac?

A. There are two types of Mac programs. The first type uses an installer similar to Windows programs. To uninstall these programs, use the uninstaller in the program folder. There are also self-contained programs. These don’t require an installation to work. To remove one from your machine, simply drag the program to the trash. Programs can usually be found in the Applications folder. Both program types can leave behind data. This clutters up your computer. Download the free AppCleaner from Komando.com/news to get rid of everything quickly.

Q: I’ve noticed that my computer labels the drives with letters. For example, the hard drive is labeled the C drive. Where are the A and B drives?

A. Before computers had hard drives, they had floppy drives. Floppy disks stored your operating system and programs. Usually only one program or operating system would fit on a single disk. Many computers had two floppy drives so you didn’t have to keep swapping disks. These were the A and B drives. When hard drives were added, they became the C drive. Eventually, floppy drives became obsolete and were phased out. However, the A and B drive letters are still reserved for them. This should eventually change, as motherboard technology evolves.

Q: I’m thinking about partitioning my hard drive. Does Windows 7 have a built-in partition manager?

A. Windows Vista and 7 do have a partition manager. Go to Start>>Control Panel and select Administrative Tools. Then open Computer Management. In the sidebar, go to Storage>>Disk Management. Select your hard drive and right-click it. You will see options for partitioning the drive. You can also use a third-party tool like EASUS Partition Manager. Find a link at Komando.com/news. I recommend it instead of Vista’s partition manager. Note that partitioning a drive does have uses. However, I don’t recommend it. Partitioning a drive often causes problems down the road.

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.