Tuesday, March 31st6.1°C
Getting Along With Your Computer

Reader feedback

Thank you to everyone who sends in questions and comments. I appreciate the feedback, and I love knowing what interests readers of this column. Keep them coming. This week: How to insert special characters in an email or other document, how to “undo” a too-thorough cleaning, and a pointer on registry cleaners.

Have your cake and eat it too.

Regarding the English vs. French keyboard layout that sometimes results in unexpected characters (http://rlis.com/columns/column385.htm) “Sam” writes:

Okay...I want my cake and eat it too!!!

I would like to know how to put an apostrophe above a letter, such as in the name of Renee. Is that something I can do without having to resort to the full French keyboard?

Yes, you can do that. It depends a little bit on what program you're working in, but the principle is the same. Click on Insert and then on Characters and Symbols, or Special Characters or whatever you see that makes sense. Find the character you want and then insert it.

Every email program and word processing program that I know of has this feature; you just have to find it. Looking for "Insert" is generally the best way to start.

Enjoy your cake! ;-)

A thorough cleaning is one thing, but it’s possible to overdo it!

A faithful reader emailed:

I recently installed Norton Utilities 16 and ran some of the maintenance programs. In my zeal to shorten my start time, I must have deleted a necessary component to run my printer. When I try to print a document or try to add a printer I get "Print spooler service is not running". Is this a major problem I have created?

It’s an annoying problem for sure, but not an insurmountable one. You can try these fixes:

If this just recently happened (that is, in the last couple of days) you could try "undoing" the changes Norton Utilities made. Yes, that will undo everything, but it will get your printer working again, and once you're in good shape there you can run Norton Utilities again and get rid of whatever else it finds.

If that doesn't work or it's simply not feasible, you can reinstall your printer. That should turn on the service again. Remember to disable your antivirus when you run the installer and turn it back on when you are through.

If you want to try a quicker fix than that, the solution is to go into Services, find the Print Spooler service, start it, set it to Automatic, and save the changes. Don't even try this if you are not comfortable following the instructions below.

In Win7 and Vista:

  • Click on Start
  • In the Start Search field, type services.msc
  • When the Services window opens scroll down to Print Spooler (the services should be in alphabetical order), and double-click on it
  • In the Print Spooler Properties window click on the tab called General
  • Under Startup type, select Automatic
  • Click on Start to start the service, and wait for it to start. Might take a minute or two.
  • When you see the service status change to Started, OK your way out.

And while we’re on the subject of registry cleaners…

Another reader sent this email:

Is there a good, safe program I can download or purchase that will repair registry problems? Also socket errors.

A good, free registry cleaner is CCleaner from Piraform, available here: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds. (I recommend the "Slim" version at the bottom of that page because it doesn't try to sneak in any toolbars or browsers with the install.)

I also recommend creating a Restore point before making any changes to your Registry, which is what registry cleaners do.

That said, if you have some kind of popup or program that is shouting at you about registry errors and socket errors, I would be concerned that your computer has malicious software on it. There are a ton of "scareware" programs that say your computer has errors like that and offer to sell you a program that will "cure" the problems. Those are scams that are meant to get your credit card information. If that's what's going on, you don't need a registry cleaner, you need an antimalware program. I'd suggest Malwarebytes (http://www.malwarebytes.org/) or SuperAntiSpyware (http://superantispyware.com/). Both programs are free, but both gently encourage you to purchase a more robust version.

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.

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About the author...

Cate Eales has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible and fun for over 20 years. She lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Sandy. Cate is a partner in Computer Care Kelowna, helping individuals and small businesses with virus, spyware and malware eradication; personal computer training and management; digital image management; music transfer; and website design, hosting and management.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with your comments, suggestions, or questions. To browse the column archives, visit the Real Life Internet Solutions website at www.rlis.com.


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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