The Task Bar: Too Much to Ask Bar?

Since Windows 95 the incorporation of the Taskbar into the Personal Computer has made the interface much easier to navigate and use. Starting to the left is the Start Menu, which enables the user to click on and enter into recently opened programs like your internet browser or Word document, see what programs you have installed, and where they are stored in various folders. This is a great enabler of performing tasks fast and easy. To the right of the Start Menu is the Quick Launch, from this one click will get you where you want to go, it is?customizable to suit your needs as well. Next to the Quick Launch is the open view of how many programs you have running, these are called Tabs, which give the user the ability to move around to different pages by selecting the right tab. The last items are displayed on the right hand side of the taskbar, and this is where the trouble begins.

Many people do not know what is going on inside of their computer, behind the scenes, because if they cannot see it then it must not exist. This leads to the build-up of crap that slows the computer down to a pathetic speed which in turn pisses the people off. What is the problem? I do not download much, I only use email and the internet, how can my PC be so damn slow?

The answer is in the “Task”bar, the place where programs are visibly shown as running, or taking up space your computer. If you click on the little button that is marked by an icon “Show Hidden Icons”, and you see 10 programs that you do not?recognize? Chances are that your PC is close to breaking down because it cannot take the heavy load of all those programs.

These are “hidden icons” that you can now make unhidden by deleting them. Right click on them to exit the program and free up some memory. You will see the name of the program after clicking on it, make not of it and make sure you delete this program off the list. What list?

The list is over at the other end of the taskbar, in the Start Menu, located in “Programs” under “Startup”. Click on the Startup folder, what do you see? Is there a list of programs similar to the ones in your taskbar? This is a common problem that can lead to disastrous consequences if left unchecked. Take action and delete all those P2P sharing programs, random programs, ones you never heard of programs, so that your Startup folder (i.e. your boot-up folder) is empty. This will allow for your computer to use its memory for useful tasks upon loading, not stupid tasks like LimeWire or other programs that eat up all the space.

So the question is posed: is the taskbar all that it is made up to be? That being it is easier, faster, and overall better than other bars that Apple uses? Well it is up to you. It is all those things if you allow them to be in the correct use, such as regular upkeep and using the taskbar to perform tasks. If you let it go and do not care about how your PC runs, then no it is not such a wonderful tool that this whole blog was written about and devoted ?to.

The taskbar is not too much to ask, if gives us all the answers, what is there to ask now that you know the truth?

All About File Systems

Here at Computer Geeks we try to educate these people, teach them all about the basics to the complicated, and hope that it helps with the sometimes frustrating experience. This frustration can turn into anger which then might result into an Office Space scene smashing the computer with a baseball bat. Take a deep breath, relax, and know that this blog is here to help. When we get calls from people, they are stressed out and are at the point of screaming over the phone. This blog is designed for just such people.

File systems or filesystems are the way computers organize and store the?files that contain?data and?programs on a?hard disk drive or other?storage device. Every computer?operating system has a unique file system, Windows is so unique actually, that it confuses people trying to use it who might not be so computer literate.

If you click on?My Computer in any version of Windows, a list of all the storage devices on your computer will be shown.

This is the hard drive containing all your?data and?programs. Here the name is OS, a name chosen when the disk was created. On your computer the name could be any name you choose.

To view the contents, simply double click on the drive.

To change what is displayed see our Computer Help on File Types?here. The Windows default is not that useful.?The display uses Windows Explorer. It shows all the files and folders on your computer.?The folders are identified by a folder icon. The files are shown in the lower two rows. their icon varies depending on the type of file.?The view you are looking at is known as the?root of the?(C) drive. It is the highest level view of the drive and is represented in text by?C:

Windows uses the backslash? to separate folders. There are folders in folders, in folders etc.

If we now look at the?Documents and Settings folder on most Windows system we see the directory structure structure shown at the right.

This is another source of confusion in Windows. If we are looking for the?My Documents folder there is not a single folder, but a separate folder for each user user defined in the system. There may be one user or many users. All computers are different.

The same is true for Internet Downloads. Ever wonder where those downloads went after they have finished? It can be a pain trying to find them again. Try making a folder specifically made for downloads from the internet. This will cut down on all that confusion which can lead to more problems if you are not careful.

Organizing your computer is an easy task, it is also very important. Over the few years your laptop or desktop runs for you, tons of information is stored on them, where will you put it all. It comes in gradually so by making easy to find folders and putting the files in the corresponding folder, can make sure you do not lose or delete those files that are important but forgotten about because they were in the “Miscellaneous” folder.

Computer Slowing Down? Defrag to the Rescue!

Over time, the fixed disk on a computer becomes?fragmented. Fragmentation is where related information is scatter over the disk, requiring numerous head movements and causing the computer to slow down. It can also cause the computer not to shut down properly, or to hang when you try to shut down. When it gets to that point, it’s time to format the drive and reinstall the operating system. All data will be lost! But have no fear my dear, there is always a simple solution to may seem like a complicated problem at first, once you complete it the problem will no longer be an issue.

To avoid the problem becoming something bigger than it might seem, you should defragment your C drive about twice a year. To start a defragmentation, go to “My Computer”, right mouse click on the C drive, left mouse click on “Properties”, select the “Tools” tab. The last item is “Defragment Now” - click on it, then click “Analyze”. Windows will indicate whether or not your drive needs defragmentation. If it does need defragmentation, do it by just clicking on the defragment button. If it does not, check again in six months.

If the drive is still fragmented after you try to defrag it: Try doing a Scandisk - the first item on the tools tab - sometimes called “Error Checking”. When it starts, be sure to check “Automatically Fix Errors”.?If Scandisk cannot complete it means that you have a corrupt file system. This can lead to numerous problems, and must be fixed, or eventually your computer may not start.

The defragment program in Windows is not very good. There are many situations where it cannot defragment a drive. Fortunately, there are after market defragmenters available. Go to for a good version.

If Diskeeper will not solve the problem, it’s time to reformat your disk, and re-install your operating system. This process of reformatting should be done with professional help. If you would like, the technician’s over at Computer Geeks will be more than happy to do this for you.?Be sure to back up your system before this.

The whole purpose of cleaning up your hard drive is to improve performance and make sure that it runs smoothly. After a while, it can get real frustrating trying to do simple tasks on the computer like internet or running a program if the C drive is full of unused files, temporary internet files, and programs you do not use. Get rid of it!

Personally I use Piriform’s CCleaner, or “Crap” Cleaner, whose name lives up to its task of getting rid of the crap that piles up in yourhard drive. This program actually has a defragment process that you can use with ease, with options to back up the system for you. I strongly recommend that if you are having problems with your computer, and you think that this might be the cause, consult a professional or someone who knows their stuff about computers.

Good Luck!

Printer Problems? Tips for Solving the Riddles

That is just what a printer problem is, a riddle, a riddle that can only be solved if you know the exact answer to the issue blocking your document from being printed. Even if you figure out the problem and do what is required as said on the little LCD screen to fix it, the printer likes to mess with you and tell you that it is still not fixed. No wonder those Office Space guys took the printer out into the field with a baseball bat and unleashed all their resentment, smashing the machine that never worked right.

This topic is current because there is a printer problem every day in the United States, this is not a fact grounded in research, but rather an obvious statement. Printers seem to come equipped with a little guy inside of it, waiting for you to print out homework, or a research paper, or directions, who loves to disrupt your life. So here are some tips to help you beat the little guy inside and print without a problem. Yes, it is possible.

One reason for the problems with printers is that there is so many different types and models, all with their tweaks and twists making the solution clouded in confusing PDF’s and troubleshooting guides.

Printer Does Not Print: This is a common malfunction with printers, you are all done after working for days on a presentation and all you need to do is print it out. Caring freely you click on the print button, and you wait. About 10 seconds goes by, and in the technology world today that is equal to an hour, with nothing happening. What could be wrong? It could be that your printer is out of date, which in that case you need to update it to the current version. Most printer manufacturer’s have websites, you can go online and go to the support section then click on the model of your printer to download the newest driver. Or you can cut out the middle man and go to Windows Updates located in the All Programs from the Start Menu. Run that and follow the instructions. If that does not work, then call Computer Geeks and we will gladly come to fix the problem for you.

Paper Jam: This is the worst of the printer problems, this nuisance of a headache that will not go away even when you clear the paper jam. There are many causes to a paper jam, such as something getting lodged in there like a paper clip or a piece of food, but whatever the cause be careful when trying to clear the jam. I tried doing this by ripping the paper out of the printer, frustration got the best of me, and ended up ruining my printer because I stripped the gear threads and now the feed is all messed up. When the paper gets jammed, breath in, calm down, and turn off the printer. Once it is unplugged it will be safe to go in and, according to the user manual, remove the paper yourself.

These two problems are the biggest for printers, nothing gives people more headaches than a printer that won’t print or once it does print, the paper gets stuck. Good luck trying to find a printer that is infallible to these issues!

Common PC Problems

Problems are attached to your PC from?the?day?you buy one, it is as natural as nature, but what can you do about them to?minimize??the problem and make it does not turn into one you cannot solve? There are a couple actions you can take to ensure peace of mind and comfort of use knowing that the machine you paid $2,ooo dollars will not be breaking down anytime soon.

Most of the time, it is not being skilled enough or able to intellectually solve the problem yourself, it is not knowing where to look. Fixing your computer should not be such a hard task that leaves you feeling powerless and overwhelmed. When calling the “support” number for the computer, which usually fuels the frustration, does not work and you need help fixing it, read this blog.

If you cannot get out of the program you are running because it is?frozen, stuck and not moving at all, press these keys down in order: Ctrl-Alt-Delete. This little trick will solve this problem like magic. A task manager window will open up, displaying all of the programs you are running with the status of each next to them. You will see different status’ if one is acting funny, such as “program not responding”. Highlight that program, and on the bottom of the task manager, click the “End Task” button. Wait for the magic to happen, and resume your activity on the computer.

Most people in these “modern” times we all live in, amidst all the emerging technology and fast growing trends, are trying to keep up with the?crazy?pace. Not everyone knows about fixing what may seem like simple problems to tech-savvy people, are complicated to those who are not.

That is our goal here at Computer Geeks: self-knowledge, giving the customer the know-how to fix problems on their own to maybe save a few bucks in these tough economic times.

Back to problem solving. If you notice the speed of your internet not up to par, there is a quick easy solution for this one. Temporary files are things like history, cookies, and downloads which are saved to your computer. Maintenance is a good idea to keep this issue from happening. I have noticed with some people who let this go, and there internet is so slow I could write a book on blogging before they check their email it is that filled with crap.

Solution: Go to the search box located on the Start Menu and type?’.tmp’, it will pull up all the temporary files. Right click the mouse on each one, or select them all by selecting one and then,?holding the shift key,?going down to the last one. Hit the delete button, you are on your way to faster surfing instantly.

Troubleshooting the PC can lead to even more problems if you go beyond your skill level and end up really screwing things up! Make sure you know the limit of your knowledge, for example if it involves going inside your computer or trying to delete or mess with programs that you do not know the importance of.

Call Computer Geeks at 1-800-433-5435 and the nice people on the phone will direct your problem towards the solution!

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