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Getting Along With Your Computer

What’s on your mind?

Apr 14, 2014 / 5:00 am

Three common questions (and answers) from readers: What’s the deal with a Microsoft Account? Can I fix the type size in my browser? How do I print in Windows 8? What is a Microsoft Account and why should I care? A Microsoft Account is an email address and password that you use to...

Say goodbye to Windows XP

Apr 7, 2014 / 5:00 am

It was a great little operating system, but it’s been overtaken by events. Turn out the lights, the party’s over Like it or not, Microsoft ends all support for windows XP (and Office 2003) April 8, 2014. We can complain, we can curse, we can wave our hands in the...

Help for two nagging problems

Mar 31, 2014 / 5:00 am

Two really weird problems cropped up again and again these last three weeks. These solutions might save you some aggravation. They might even make you look like a genius when you solve your friend or relative’s problem! Help! Mon clavier me rend fou! I’ve heard from at least...

The three most important things

Mar 24, 2014 / 5:00 am

Are you having trouble with your computer? If you can provide a good description of what the computer is not doing and when it started not doing that, you’ll save a lot of time and probably a little money. If you know nothing else about your computer, know the answers to the three questions...


Mar 17, 2014 / 5:00 am

I’ve still got some problems to solve, but here are solutions to a couple of the most interesting things I worked on last week. High Contrast Mode is highly confusing I got this email last week: I've got a new laptop with Windows 8.1 (and so far I HATE it), but just now I...

Two cool tips

Mar 10, 2014 / 5:00 am

If you have a laptop, you have a cool tool you probably didn’t even know about. Whether you have a laptop or a desktop, you can put things in context. A nice tool you probably didn’t even know you had Mobility Center is a great little utility that you already have if you are...

Office alternatives

Mar 3, 2014 / 5:00 am

Something to consider when you get a new computer is how you're going to create and read documents and spreadsheets. The gold standard for this kind of work is Microsoft Office. It isn't free. Do you need Microsoft Office? Microsoft Office includes some of the most used software...


Feb 24, 2014 / 5:00 am

I can sometimes correct a problem with Windows by changing a setting. Turning it off and turning it back on again takes care of some issues. But every so often, something in Windows just breaks and an actual fix is required. Here are two that might come in handy for you. Fix iTunes...

How to keep Malware out

Feb 17, 2014 / 5:00 am

As I clean malicious software out of my customers’ computers, the question I’m most often asked is, “How did that get there?” I can usually make an educated guess, but the more important question is, “How can I keep this from happening again?” Here’s how to...

Why won't my file open?

Feb 10, 2014 / 5:00 am

When you click on a Word document, if all goes according to plan, Microsoft Word or a Word-compatible program opens and displays your file. In order to open any file, Windows needs to know what program is associated with that type of file. Usually this works so well that we don’t even have to...

Make things easier

Feb 3, 2014 / 5:00 am

Organize your passwords, free up some disk space, make uninstalling programs a little easier. (Mostly) Pain-free passwords Remembering passwords --- and changing them when you don’t remember them --- is a near-constant source of irritation for many. There are lots of ways to deal...

Say goodbye to Windows XP

Jan 27, 2014 / 5:00 am

Windows XP is a real workhorse of an operating system, but it’s thirteen years old and things have moved on. If you are still using Windows XP, you need to stop doing that before April. End of days In April 2014, Microsoft will stop all support of all versions of Windows XP and...

Three tips

Jan 20, 2014 / 5:00 am

Find that file or photo you’re looking for. Please, please, please back up your stuff. Get Solitaire back in Windows 8 for free. Find stuff fast Hard drives now are huge in comparison to years ago. Now we can really load them up with lots of pictures, letters, videos, tunes, and...

What's new?

Jan 13, 2014 / 5:00 am

I came across a few fun, new (at least to me), interesting (at least to me) things. Hope you enjoy them, too. MediaCrush offers another way to share large files I’ve written lots about file sharing sites like Minus (, Copy (, and even the file...

Email about email

Jan 6, 2014 / 5:00 am

I get a lot of email about email. This week I’ll answer two frequently asked questions. First, how to keep your In Box under control, and second, when to show or hide recipients’ email addresses. A clean In Box is a happy In Box The best reason I know to keep your In Box...

Four tips for a new computer

Dec 30, 2013 / 5:00 am

Are you setting up a new computer? I do that all the time, so I have a routine for setting up the new machine and transferring files from the old. If you decide to do this yourself, here are four tips that should keep you from running for the Aleve. You can save a lot of time by having your...

Merry Christmas to All!

Dec 23, 2013 / 5:00 am

The annual Christmas column: Track Santa, track your packages, listen to holiday tracks. Enjoy your Christmas! Track Santa When I wrote my first Christmas column several years ago, the NORAD Tracks Santa website, here: was the only way to track Santa online....

How to survive a tech Christmas

Dec 16, 2013 / 5:00 am

For some people, Christmas means a fight to the death with technology. It used to be that we only had to remember to buy batteries for the shiny new presents, but these days things are a little trickier. Here’s how to spend less time struggling with things and more time enjoying your...

Dear Microsoft: Huh?

Dec 9, 2013 / 5:00 am

I try to keep up on what’s happening in the world of computers, but every so often something surprises me. Have you encountered any of these situations? Do you have any suggestions for me? Closing an app in Windows 8.1 is different than in Windows 8 In previous versions of Windows,...

A little something extra

Dec 2, 2013 / 5:00 am

Christmas is barrelling down on us. You might be wondering what techie gifts to ask for or give. I have some suggestions for you! I’m not going to review phones or laptops or audio equipment or any of those major purchases. Instead I’m going to suggest a few little things that will make...

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


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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