Friday, April 30, 2010

"I don't own a computer, how do I get started?"

Statistics show that 76% of the United States population owns a computer.  Keep in mind that many people may own two (2) or more computers, and the numbers may amaze you even more.

Many people ask me "how do I get started?"  If you've never used a computer, you may need to start at a different level than someone who has a computer at work, but not one at home.

OBVIOUSLY, this post is either for people that have a computer AT WORK or for people to print and give to friends and family that do not have a computer, but want to get started...

In this post, I'd like to give a few helpful tips on where to get started and what to do if you would like to purchase a computer for your home and/or if you would like to get started on the Internet.

First, you need to decide what you will be using the computer for.

Will you use it to create documents or type information?  Will you use it for e-mail and the Internet?
If you are new to computers, this information may even be Foreign to you.  If you wish to communicate with your family, you will need e-mail and possibly the Internet.  E-mail, for beginners, is an electronic method of writing letters to friends and family.

I'll first cover those that want e-mail and Internet access.  Today, computers are becoming very reasonable in price.  Look to places like Wal-mart, Best Buy, and Fry's Electronics to purchase a computer.  The salesman may ask you what you intend to use the computer for, as I have.  But, don't entirely rely on the salesman, as they may not know the correct questions to ask or worse, they may just try to up-sell you.  If you have a relative or friend that knows even a little bit about computers, you may want to take them with you.

If you plan on using your computer for e-mail and the Internet only, here are some of the basics you will need.

A computer with a processor of 2 GHz is plenty.  Memory (or RAM) of 2 GB is enough.  In case you will be saving pictures (that relatives and friends may e-mail you), you may want to go ahead and purchase a Hard Drive of at least 300 GB.  If you purchase a Desktop computer, you will also need to purchase a Monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  These are pretty basic and the salesman can help you; however, if you wear glasses or have any vision issues, you may want to get a Monitor that is at least 21".  Monitors are measured similarly to how televisions used to be measured, on the diagonal.

If these terms seem Foreign to you, don't worry, you really don't need to understand them.  Just make sure you keep this list with you when purchasing.

The next question you need to ask is "Will I want to take the computer with me while traveling?"  If you answered "Yes" to this question, then you will probably want to buy a Laptop.  Laptops are convenient and smaller than a desktop computer, as they include the Monitor, keyboard, and mouse all with the Hard Drive.  Look for the same basic features I listed above.

The next thing you will need is Internet access.  This will be provided by a Cable communications provider, such as Cox Communications.  Call around in your local area or better yet, ask a friend.  Some cable providers will have a "Bundle" package, where they include your cable, phone, and Internet all at one price; which should be cheaper than purchasing them all separately.

In my next posts, I'll be talking in more depth about the basics of getting started with computers.

Be sure and check back and "Go Ask Debbie!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How do I scan an image to be 8-1/2x11 inches?

Darlene writes, "How do I scan an image to be 8-1/2x11"?  When I scan the original 8-1/2x11 image, it says it's letter size, but when I send it within the e-mail, it is VERY small."

Darlene, you're not alone.  There are so many different scanners out there and even more scanning programs, that it is hard to know everything about each of them.

In this tip, you'll find some helpful things to remember and to look for in your scanning software.

First, all scanning software is different.  But, the one thing you need to remember is that when using software to scan a document, most will give you an option to "e-mail" the scanned image.  While this may seem the easiest option, there may be problems.

If you choose the "e-mail" option, make sure and look for any window or button that gives you more options.  Many programs will show you the size that it will be sending within the e-mail.  You might see a Drop-Down arrow for the size.  Make sure and choose the "letter" or "8-1/2x11" size option, if that is the size you wish for your document or image.

Remember that this option will make the file size larger; so if you are sending the e-mail to someone that has a slower Internet speed, be careful with this option.

If you do not see the "size" option as a button or within a window, you may want to choose to scan the document as a "Word" file or another option may be "PDF".  In these cases, you will probably need to SAVE the file to your computer first.  Once you have scanned and saved to your computer, then open your e-mail and send the file as an attachment by choosing the location in which you stored the scanned image.

These tips should get you on the path to scanning documents successfully.

As usual, if you have questions, "Go Ask Debbie!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to Save Pictures from an E-mail

Many people receive e-mails that have beautiful pictures and would like to save these pictures.  But, if they are not typical attachments, how do you save them?

The answer is actually quite simple, but may take a bit longer than saving all attachments at once.

If the pictures are not attachments and you can only see them within the e-mail, they are "embedded" within the e-mail.  This means that the sender has used some sort of program that creates an HTML e-mail and the pictures are actually within the programming of the HTML.

To save the pictures, simply Right-Click directly on the picture and choose "Save As".  Now, simply save them in a folder where you can easily find them.  Continue doing this for each picture within the e-mail.  The next time you are ready to view the pictures, you do not have to open the e-mail; you may just open the folder where you saved the pictures.

It's that simple!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to Create Screen Tips in Word

When sending Word documents electronically, there may be some advantage to providing Screen Tips. Screen Tips are when you "hover" over a word or phrase and a Tip pops up.

These are very simple to setup, just follow these steps:

1) Select the word or phrase you wish to add the Tip
2) Right-click and choose Hyperlink
3) Click "Screen Tip"
4) In the pop-up window, simply type the text (tip) you wish to appear
5) Click "OK"
6) Type a Name for the Tip in the "Address" box and click "OK"

To test the Screen Tip, simply hover your mouse and you should see the Tip.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Computer Chat and Text Messaging Lingo

As more and more people use chat rooms and text messaging, more acronyms and lingo are created.  I've published lists in the past, but this list is a more thorough and updated one.

Just remember, if it's not on the list, try and read it like a sentence (much like trying to figure out a license plate).

Parents, especially, should be aware of these terms.

AAK = Alive And KickingAAR = At Any Rate
AAS = Alive And Smiling
ADN = Any Day Now
AFAIK = As Far As I Know
AFK = Away From the Keyboard
AFN = That's All For Now
AOTA = All Of The Above
a/s/l or asl = Age/Sex/Location - (used to ask a chatter their personal information)
AV = Avatar - Graphical representation (a picture) often used in chat rooms to depict a person that is in the room and chatting.
b4 = Before
BAK = Back At Keyboard (I'm back)
BB = Be Back
BBL = Be Back Later
BBS = Be Back Soon
BCNU = I'll Be Seeing You
b/f = Boyfriend or Best Friend (also shown as bf, B/F, or BF)
BFF = Best Friend Forever
BEG Big Evil Grin
BFN Bye For Now
BMA = Bite My A** (became popular with the Simpson's cartoon show)
boot = To get kicked out of a chat room, or have to restart the computer because you couldn't talk in the chat room anymore.
BR = Best Regards
BRB = Be Right Back
BRH = Be Right Here
BSEG = Big S**t Eatin Grin
BTA = But Then Again
BTW = By The Way
btw = BeTWeen you and me
CRS = Can't Remember S**t
CU = See You
CUS = Can't Understand S**t (stuff)
CNP = Continued in Next Post (seen more on message boards than chat)
CP = Chat Post
CUL8R = See You Later
CUOL = See You On Line
CYA = See Ya
dd, ds, dh = Darling or Dear: Dear Son, Dear Daughter, or Dear Husband. Usually exchanged in family chats.
DDSOS = Different Day, Same Old S**t
DEGT = Don't Even Go There (I don't want to talk about it)
DIKU = Do I Know You?
DIS = Did I Say
D/L, DL, d/l, dl = Downloading, or Download it.
EG = Evil Grin
EM = E-Mail
EMA = E-mail Address (example: ?ema or ema? = what is your email address)
EOT = End Of Thread (meaning end of discussion)
ez or EZ = Easy (one of the really old ones)
F2F = Face To Face
FAQ = Frequently Asked Question
FISH = First In Still Here (someone who is on line TOO much)
FITB = Fill In The Blanks
FOCL = Falling Off Chair - Laughing
Forum = What todays message boards are called
FTS = F*** This S***
*** Anything with an F in it should be questioned ***
FUBAR "Fouled" Up Beyond All Repair / Recognition
FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt
FWIW = For What It's Worth
FYI = For Your Information
GA = Go Ahead
GAL = Get A Life
gest = Gesture ... a small multimedia file played over the internet, usually expressing an emotion or comment.
g/f = Girlfriend (also shown as gf, G/F, or GF)
GFN = Gone For Now
GGOH = Gotta Get Outta Here
GMTA = Great Minds Think Alike
GR = Gotta Run
GR&D = Grinning, Running, and Ducking
GTR = Got To Run
GTRM = Going To Read Mail (leaving chat room to check email)
H&K = Hugs and Kisses
hack = person who breaks into software, or disrupts a chat room
HAGD = Have A Good Day
HAGO = Have A Good One
HB = Hurry BackHTH = Hope That Helpshuggles = Hugs
IAC = In Any Case
IB = I'm Back
IC = I See
IDN = I Don't kNow
IDK = I Don't Know
IDTS = I Don't Think So
IANAL = I'm Am Not A Lawyer (expect an uninformed opinion)
ICQ = I Seek You. A computer program used to communicate instantly over the Internet
ILU or ILY = I Love You
IM = Instant Message
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion (or In My Honest Opinion)
IMO = In My Opinion
IOH = I'm Out of Here
IOW = In Other Words
IRL = In Real Life
IYO = In Your Opinion
JAS = Just A Second
JIC = Just In Case
JK = Just Kidding
JMO = Just My Opinion
JW = Just Wondering
k, K, or kk = OK
KIT = Keep In Touch
L8R = Later
LMAO = Laughing My A** Off
LFFAO = Laughing My F***(freaking) A** Off
LOL = Laughing Out Loud
LTNS = Long Time No See
LTS = Laughing To ones Self
LY = I Love Ya
LYL = Love You Lots
MUG = Refers to a new user of that chat program, goes back to Excite VP days when the AV (or icon) that represented someone new was a picture of a coffee mug.
NE1 = Anyone
newbie = refers to a person who is new to an area or technology. Also seen as nube, nooby, nubie, nb, etc.
NFW = No Feasible (or F***ing) Way
NIMBY = Not In My Back Yard
nm, or NM = Never Mind
NP, np = No Problem
NRN = No Response Necessary, Not Right Now
NT = No Thanks
OBTW = Oh, By The Way
OIC = Oh, I See
OF = Old Fart, someone who has been around for a while
OJ or OK = Only Joking or Only Kidding
OL = the Old Lady (Mom or Wife)
OM = the Old Man (Dad or Husband)
OMG = Oh My Gosh
OT = Off Topic
oth or OTH = Off The Hook: Something is really popular, or hot. Very exciting.
otr or OTR = Off The Rack: Saying that something is outside the ordinary.
OTE = Over The Edge (beyond common sense or beyond good taste)
OTOH = On The Other Hand
OTOMH = Off the Top of My Head
OTW = On The Way ... I've sent a file to you, it's "On the way"
P911 = My parents are in the room. P=Parents, and 911=emergency, in other words either drop the subject, or watch the language.
PANS = Pretty Awesome New Stuff (often referring to computer technology)
PCMCIA = Personal Computer Memory Cards International Association
PCMCIA = People Can't Master Computer Industry Acronyms (slang)
PEBCAK = Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard
peeps = People
peep this = Hey, listen to this, I've got some interesting news.
PITA = Pain In The Ass
PLZ = Please
PMJI = Pardon Me for Jumping In (when you enter into a new conversation)
poof = when someone leaves a chat room, often seen as *poof* as in boy he *poofed* in a hurry.
POTS = Plain Old Telephone Service
POS = Parents are looking Over my Shoulder
POTS = Parents Over The Shoulder - (My parents are watching, I can't really talk)
PPL = People
QT = Cutie
RFC = Request For Comments
rl or RL = Real Life (as opposed to being online)
r m or RM = Ready Made: pre-existing
ROFL = Rolling On Floor, Laughing
ROTF = Rolling On The Floor (laughing is implied)
ROTFLMAO = Rolling On The Floor Laughing My A** Off
ROTFLMFAO = Rolling On The Floor Laughing F(***ing) My A** Off
RSN = Real Soon Now
r/t = Real Time (also: RT, or rt)
RTFM = Read The "Flippin" Manual (response to beginner question on net, chat, newsgroups, etc.)
RU = aRe yoU?
SEG = S**t Eating Grin
SH = Same Here
SMS = Short Message Service (more cell phones and pagers than chat rooms and the Internet)
SN = Screen Name
SNAFU = Situation Normal, All "Fouled" Up
SO = Significant Other
SOL = S**t Out Of Luck
SOS = Same Old S**t (stuff)
SOTA = State Of The Art (latest technology)
SPST = Same Place, Same Time
SSDD = Same S**t, Different Day
STR8 = Straight (can refer to sex, or DSTR8 as in D**n Straight)
STW = Search The Web
SY = Sincerely Yours
SYL = See You Later
TAFN = That's All For Now
TC = Take Care
TFH = Thread From H*** (a topic or discussion that won't stop - esp. newsgroups)
TGIF = Thank Goodness It's Friday
THX = Thanks!
TIA = Thanks In Advance
TM = Text Message
TMI = Too Much Information
TNT = 'Til Next Time
TPS = That's Pretty Stupid
TPTB = The Powers That Be (can sometimes refer to the people that are running the chat room or server)
TRDMF = Tears Running Down My Face: Can be with either laughter, or due to saddness.
TS = Tough S**t
TSFY = Tough S**t For You
TTFN = Ta-Ta For Now
TTTT = These Things Take Time
TTYL = Talk To You Later
TY = Thank You
TYT = Take Your Time
TYVM = Thank You Very Much
VPPH = Virtual Places Page Host
US = You S**k
usa or USA = Until Sides Ache: Usually used with one of the laughter acronyms such as "lolusa" Laughing Out Loud Until my Sides Ache. I've also heard that some folks substitute ush for "Until Sides Hurt". rotflolush = rolling on the floor, laughing out loud, until my sides hurt.
UV = Unpleasant Visual
UW = yoU're Welcome
UY = Up Yours
vp or VP = Virtual Places: A brand of chat offered by Excite in the late 90s and early 2000.
WB = Welcome Back (you say this when someone returns to a chat room)
WC = WelCome
WEG = Wicked Evil Grin
WEU = What's Eating You?
WFM = Works For Me
WIIFM = What's In It For Me?
WTG = Way To Go
WTF = What The F***
WT? = What The ...? or Who the ...?
WTGP? = Want To Go Private? (move to a private chat room)
WWJD = What Would Jesus Do?
YAA = Yet Another Acronym
YBS = You'll Be Sorry
YL = Young Lady
YM = Young Man
YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary
YR = Yea, Right (sarcastic)
*ys* = You Stinker
YVW = You're Very Welcome
YW = You're Welcome

Remember, this is not a complete list, but it's hard to keep up with all of the lingo.  As parents find out meanings, kids keep coming up with new ones.  Just try and read the acronym like a sentence (much like trying to figure out someone's license plate) and you'll probably figure them out.

Go Ask Debbie - April 2010 Newsletter

Here's the link to the latest Go Ask Debbie Newsletter. With Go Ask Debbie, you'll find training and tips on many popular computer software programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Intuit QuickBooks, and more!

How to Delete Blank Rows in Excel