The Keys and The Programs

Here at Computer Geeks we try to help the people who might not be so computer-savvy or people who are new to using them. At this blog, that is our mission: to instruct, to teach, and to educate everyone who is interested in knowing certain tips, tricks, and general information from everything to viruses and security to basic functions.

For today, let’s look at taking “Control” of your computer. The key located directly at the bottom left of your keyboard has the letters CTRL on it. This little button lives up to its title, as it controls many short, quick actions to help you move around the computer more efficiently.

Below is a list of the CTRL functions you can use:

Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert

Copy the highlighted text or selected item.

Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert

Paste the text or object that’s in the?clipboard.

Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y

Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing Ctrl + Y would re-do the undo.

Ctrl + F

Open the Find in any program. This includes your Internet browser to find text on the current page.

Ctrl + P

Print what’s currently being viewed in programs such as Microsoft Word or your Internet browser.

Ctrl + Left arrow / Right arrow

Move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time. If you wanted to highlight one word at a time you can hold down Ctrl + Alt and then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that direction while highlighting each word.

Ctrl + Home / End

Move the cursor to the beginning or end of a document.

Page Up / Space bar and Page Down

Pressing either the page up or page down key will move that page one page at a time in that direction. When browsing the Internet pressing the space bar will also move the page down one page at a time.

Alt + Tab or Alt + Esc

Quickly switch between open programs.


Open help for the program you’re in.

Now that you know how what the pro’s know, let’s move on to programs that everyone should have downloaded to their computer.

Anti-virus and malware protection

Anti-virus: Avast! or?AVG

Malware / Spyware protection: Malwarebytes


Although Microsoft Internet Explorer comes pre-installed on Windows computers, there are several excellent free alternatives that everyone should try. These free alternatives can often be faster, have more options, and in many cases be more secure than Internet Explorer. Try?Mozilla Firefox or?Google Chrome, you will be impressed.


There are dozens of free and commercially available backup programs for computers. Unfortunately many of those backups are stored locally, meaning if your house were to catch fire, get robbed, or if you simply lost your backup discs all your data would be lost. This is why when dealing with important data we suggest users use online backup services.?Mozy or?Dropbox are two options that give you the necessary solutions to make sure that accidents don’t turn into disasters!

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.

Tired of Weak or No Signal?

That damn yellow triangle sign where your wireless bars should be has a “!” telling you that the signal is there, but due to a weak signal or no signal your internet use is put on hold. Until the signal can regain strength, your first thought might be to sit there patiently and wait it out, but who has time for that anymore? We live in a digital world, a wireless world, one that is very fast and waiting is something the tribes did sending a message to another camp hundreds of years ago. Try a second thought: change the things you can! The power to change the signal is yours, listen up.

wireless connection

If we look at the router, it is really an?amazing machine that is capable of fascinating feats for which we should be grateful for, I mean this little network tool makes our lives SO much easier. If we did not have the router, where would we be? Think about it, while you walk across the office to deliver something that could have been handled on a wireless network.

It all started back in Stanford with Bill Yeager who created the first router, which allowed for the wireless internet to blossom, as well as open many doors for the future. Yeager was asked originally to connect various departments at the school, he did much more than that. Back then they were only running on 56kb of memory, look how far it has have come!

How to combat Weak or No Signal

Now that you know a little bit more about where router’s come from, let’s talk on improving that sometimes weak signal which is everyone’s enemy if you use wireless.

  1. Place the router away from the wall. The signal that is being given off the router is too high to go through walls very good, and until we start using the television white space which is a much lower signal but can travel through walls, it is best that you position your device to a more accessible spot. Try placing the router in the middle of the room, house or office. It will be able to reach all the computers trying to access it better.
  2. Keep it off the floor. If you put the router on the floor, the signal being sent to other networks will surely be slow because it is not able to receive the data packets being sent back to the router from your computer.
  3. Do not put the router near metal objects. This is self-explanatory, metal objects can deflect signals and interrupt them, causing that annoying warning sign to piss you off.
  4. Use a hi-gain antenna. The router comes with a regular antenna that sends a signal in all directions, if it is placed in your office then half of the signal is going out the window! A hi-gain antenna focuses on a certain direction, a better choice if you have a desktop computer.
  5. Still weak? Try another type of router. This is called a wireless repeater, you still need your router, but the repeater will take the strong signal it gets in the office, and transmits it to the living room to supply the same strong signal to your laptop while enjoying the news.

If all else fails, just turn the router on and then wait for a couple minutes, then turn it on again. Resetting the router will boot it up again, it usually works to get a good signal after reset.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of that stupid yellow sign that blocks my internet and keeps me from accessing work, finishing emails, and all the basic tasks the internet allows me to do with ease. Thanks to these tips though, I will never have that problem again. After all, ignorance is the only real problem, everything else is just details. As always feel Free to contact us via email or give Computer Geeks a call at 800-433-5435 if you want us to fix it for you!

Cannot connect to internet

OmniDiskSweeper helps manage your Hard Drive space


If you are a Mac user becoming frustrated by the rapidly depleting space on your hard drive, puzzled by just what?s occupying what was once available, this free application will give you some of the answers you?ve sought.

It?s called OmniDiskSweeper, and it quickly provides users a detailed rundown on what?s sitting on your hard drive, with a simple delineation of the exact files residing in your folders.

When starting OmniDiskSweeper, you?re prompted to select the drive you wish to review. Upon completion of the scan, you?re presented with an easily interpretable list of every folder on that drive, with their respective size defined by a color coding scheme. Using this tool, you can manage each folder, deleting files to your choosing. After each deletion, OmniDiskSweeper recalculates the available space on your computer.

This is a great tool to keep available when you think you might want to try your hand at optimizing your Mac. It?s easy to use, fast, and an excellent means of regaining all of the space that?s dwindled on your hard drive. ?It?s also free, an added plus that very few of us can ignore.

This is only for Macs, and it can be obtained here.

Need help in with your Computer Repair Boston? We can help give us a call at 617-262-2626


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