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Tech questions answered

Today I’m pulling a few often-asked questions from my virtual mailbag. Considering the regularity with which I’m asked these questions, I’m hoping my answers will benefit a good number of readers out there who have experienced similar issues. (Please note that, for the most part, the specific steps detailed in my answers do not apply to Macs.)

QI accidentally installed a program onto my computer, and I don’t want it anymore. How can I get rid of it? (If you would like to delete any programs or software from your computer to free up additional space, this answer is for you as well.)

ANo worries; the process of uninstalling unwanted programs and software is actually much easier than you think. Try this: Click on the “Start” button in the lower left-hand corner of your monitor. Choose “Control Panel.” Once inside your Control Panel, select “Add/Remove Programs.” You will be presented with a list of all of the programs and software located on your computer. Go through the list and simply remove (aka “uninstall”) the program you want to get rid of. That’s it!



QI fill out quite a few online forms. It’s very annoying when there are many fields in these forms and once I type in my answer, I have to click my mouse to move to the next field. Is there a more efficient method of completing online forms that I’m not aware of? And while I’m asking about online forms, is there any difference between checkboxes and radio buttons?

ATo answer both these questions: Yes indeed. It’s actually incredibly easy to move from field to field in online forms without having to use your mouse. The secret weapon? The “tab” key on your keyboard. Let’s say the first field of the form I’m filling in is “FIRST NAME.” I type in the letters e-R-i-n. Then, instead of reaching for my mouse and clicking in the next field (most likely “LAST NAME”), I simply reach my left pinky finger up a bit and press down on the tab key. And voila, the cursor is now blinking in the “LAST NAME” field, waiting for me to type in my answer.



As a bonus, I’ll let you know a little secret about checkboxes as well: You can tab from one checkbox to the next, and when you want to check/select a checkbox, simply hit the space bar on your keyboard. The same tip works for radio buttons (those little circles you can select/unselect in online forms).

Now let’s move on to an explanation of the difference between the checkboxes and radio buttons. It’s pretty simple, really. When you see a list of options next to checkboxes, it means you can select more than one of those options. When you see a list of options next to radio buttons, it means you can select only one option.

I’ll put the above explanation into an example. You might come across a form that asks you which days of the week you prefer going to the gym. There will probably be a list of all the days of the week sitting next to some checkboxes, and you’ll be allowed to select whichever (and as many) checkboxes you wish.

On the other hand, you might come across an online form that asks you to select your favorite type of ice cream. Next to all the options you see a bunch of empty circles – these are the radio buttons we’ve been talking about. Since this form uses radio buttons, you can select only one flavor of ice cream to mark as your favorite. If you’re in a fickle mood and mark the radio button next to peanut butter cup, but then change your mind and mark the radio button next to peanut butter-chocolate, the first radio button will deselect (become empty), as you can only have one radio button selected at a time. It’s a good thing you don’t have to remember this; the forms handle it all for you. I’m just explaining the difference here.

Oh goodness. Let’s move on to the next question, shall we? The thought of having to choose between peanut butter cup and peanut butter-chocolate ice cream (and not being able to have both) is tearing me apart.

QMy co-worker has a different photo on her desktop each week. I really want to get rid of the ugly aqua background on my computer desktop, but I don’t know how and I don’t want to ask my co-worker because she’s terribly mean and cranky. There is even a possibility she would bite me if I asked her for help. So, can YOU please fill me in on how I can go about changing my desktop?

AChanging the “wallpaper” on your desktop is a piece of cake. I’ll explain two easy ways to do it.

The first method assumes you find a beautiful photo or illustration on the Internet that you want to use as your desktop wallpaper. Simply right-click on the image and choose “Set as Background.” Please note that depending on your computer, the option wording may appear slightly different – for instance, on some computers the option might read “Set as Wallpaper.” Anyhow, just choose that option and voila, you’re done!

The second method assumes you have a photo or image that you want to use as your desktop wallpaper already located somewhere in your computer. In this case, you need to right-click anywhere on your desktop and choose “Properties.” A small window will open, and of the tabs that appear across the top, you should click on “Desktop.” This is where you can manage and change the images used as your desktop’s wallpaper. You’ll notice a “Browse” button – this allows you to locate any image on your computer and set it as your wallpaper. Just remember to hit either the “OK” or “Apply” button after you’ve changed your wallpaper, and you’ll be good to go.

I hope you found this week’s article helpful. If not, then stop complaining and go send me an e-mail with a question you’d like to see answered.

Based in Frisco, eRin pheiL is the primary creative force behind timeforcake (www.timeforcake.com). She can be reached via phone at (970) 668-0709 or e-mail at info@timeforcake.com.


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