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Getting Along With Your Computer

Quick tips

Aug 18, 2014 / 5:00 am

Three simple fixes for three kind of obscure problems. Just a minute… Here’s a weird problem: After about a minute of inactivity, a computer would jump out of Windows 7 and back to the logon screen. And by inactivity I mean the customer could be sitting there watching a...

Reader feedback

Aug 11, 2014 / 5:00 am

Thank you to everyone who writes with things to ask or tell. Here is a sampling of recent reader feedback. Please keep it coming! iTunes scam feedback Last week’s column about the current iTunes scam ( generated plenty of comments. Many of you...

Go phish

Aug 4, 2014 / 5:00 am

Tricksters are getting trickier. Here’s how to stay safe. The latest iTunes phishing scam is convincing This one nearly got me. An email arrived “confirming” my latest iTunes purchase and providing a link for me to click on if there were any problems. Well heck...

Up or down?

Jul 28, 2014 / 5:00 am

Have you ever wondered if a website is available for everyone except you? I’ll show you how to find out. And if you’ve ever encountered the weird “Your PC is offline” error in Windows 8, you’ll want to see how to get past that. Read on. “Is Facebook down,...

Beat the heat

Jul 21, 2014 / 5:00 am

People who know me well suspect that I am at least one third lizard --- I love the heat. But hot weather does have its downside, and that’s why you need to protect your computer and other electronics from power surges and spikes. Bonus: If you’re so hot you need to think about something...

CAPTCHAs and new tabs

Jul 14, 2014 / 5:00 am

Do you hate guessing what those weird-looking letters say when you fill out a form online? I’ll tell you how to make it (a little) less painful. Also, what’s up with the Firefox New Tab Page? Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart When you...

Google is not a browser

Jul 7, 2014 / 5:00 am

Many people are confused about browsers and search engines. They are not the same thing. A car and a map aren’t the same thing, either. Your browser is like a car, transporting you to your destination. A search engine is the map you need to find your way. Browsers A browser is a...

Your questions answered

Jun 30, 2014 / 5:00 am

Just when I think I’ve seen every possible computer question, someone has a new one. Awesome! Keep them coming. This week’s crop: Quarantine’s purpose, easier Drag + Drop, and iTunes “deauthorization” instructions. What does Quarantine do, anyway? People...

On the move

Jun 23, 2014 / 5:00 am

In the last month I’ve helped several customers move their computers from an old house to a new one. When it comes to moving your computer and the associated equipment, taking care of a few simple things can make your life in your new place a little easier. Get organized Start by...

Missing apps & unreadable documents

Jun 16, 2014 / 5:00 am

Classic Shell vs. Windows 8.1.1. Docx vs. Doc. This week’s column is all about conflict resolution! Windows 8.1 Missing Apps A customer had an interesting problem the other day. I’d set up a Windows 8.1 computer for him and transferred his files from the XP machine he was...

Take control

Jun 9, 2014 / 5:00 am

Get a handle on that roaming taskbar, and stop searching when you already know the answer! Dock the taskbar where you want it The taskbar is the strip (usually) at the bottom of your screen. In versions of Windows prior to Windows 8, the Start button is on the left, the clock and...

Quick tips

Jun 2, 2014 / 5:00 am

This week: Two quick answers to frequently asked questions. Take a screenshot, and renew your Avast! Free. How to take a screen shot in Windows Sometimes you need a picture of something on your computer screen. Maybe you want to send an error message to a tech and you don’t want to...

Get the most out of your laptop

May 26, 2014 / 5:00 am

Three things make your laptop computing experience a little better. Stop the cursor from going rogue, access commonly used items with Mobility Center, and keep the laptop cool with a cool tool. Tame the cursor Have you ever had a problem with the cursor jumping around for no reason? One...

Problem solved

May 19, 2014 / 5:00 am

This week you’ll find solutions to three common problems. Fix the “clicking on a link doesn’t open my browser any more” issue; send mail to Undisclosed Recipients; change the default Skype language back to English. How come clicking on a link in email does not open a...

Answers to your questions

May 12, 2014 / 5:00 am

Several questions arose more than once in the past couple of weeks, and I figure more of you folks must have those very same questions! Here’s some help with the new Firefox, Windows log in, and webmail in Internet Explorer. Yikes! What happened to my Firefox? Firefox just upgraded...

Stop it!

May 5, 2014 / 5:00 am

Stop Facebook autoplay! Stop the flashing Live Tiles in Windows 8.x! Stop Windows from making too many copies! Now take a deep breath and notice how you feel. Stop Facebook video autoplay Facebook is rolling out a “feature” that consists of 15-second video ads...

Fun and games

Apr 28, 2014 / 5:00 am

Have some fun this week! Just for Fun Have you seen the website DrawStickman? ( You draw a stickman and the site guides your stickman through adventures. It’s wonderful. The creators have taken this to another level, creating apps for Android, iOS,...

Good news, bad news

Apr 21, 2014 / 6:00 am

Windows 8.1.1 is less painful than previous versions of Windows 8. Heartbleed is kind of a nosebleed. Yes, you should change your passwords First the bad news. Heartbleed, a bug in encryption software, hit hard last week. This flaw allowed passwords and more to be revealed on websites...

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...

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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