Back to Upstarts home page
Everything you wanted to know about computers
and weren't afraid to ask…
Every few months, this column will be devoted to answering questions sent in by readers. Today 's topics are making your screen look bigger or smaller, enabling the AutoComplete feature of your browser, using the BCC: field in your email program, and finally, cleaning your mouse.
Question 1 :
I can't always see clearly what is on my computer desktop, and I would like to enlarge it. I am NOT talking about just making the texts appear bigger, I want everything to be magnified. Can I do this?
What you are talking about is called ‘screen resolution' . To change it, do the following:
1. Right-click an empty space on your desktop .
2. Click Properties.
The Display Properties box appears .
Click the Settings tab.
The Screen Resolution slider is in the bottom left corner.
Move the slider to the left and everything on your screen is magnified. Move it to the right and everything becomes smaller.
Click Apply to preview what the change will look like, or
Click OK to accept the change.
Note : Many computer screens are set for a resolution of 800 x 600, in other words, a 4:3 ratio between width and height. If you choose a resolution that does not maintain this ratio, you will have a somewhat distorted result. Some resolutions that DO maintain this ratio are 640 x 480 and 1024 x 768.
Back to top
Question 2 :
I am using Windows XP. On my last computer, when I was on the internet, I would type certain words (like my name) and the computer would automatically finish the word for me. How can I set up this feature on my new computer?
Answer: This feature is called AutoComplete. In Windows XP, you can set up AutoComplete to save and suggest only the information you want by doing the following:
1. Open the Internet Explorer browser.
On the Tools menu, click Internet Options .
Click the Content tab.
Under Personal information, click AutoComplete .
Select the check boxes for the AutoComplete options you want to use.
Back to top
Question 3 :
I want to send an email letter to a group of my friends, but I don't want their individual email addresses to be visible to the entire group. How can I do this?
Answer: Most email programs offer three possible address fields: TO, CC (carbon copy) and BCC (blind carbon copy). Usually, you enter an address in the To: field. If you send the same mail to several people, and add their addresses in the To: or CC: fields, this information will be visible to EVERYONE who receives the mail. However, if you type an address in the BCC field, that address will be invisible to the group.
When you send a letter in Outlook Express, you may not be able to see the BCC: field. By default, only the To: and CC: fields are visible. But this is easily corrected.
1. Open a new email form
On the View menu, click All Headers.
The BCC: field now appears.
Back to top
Question 4 :
My mouse is giving me trouble, and I have been told that I need to clean it. How do I do this?
Answer : The typical ball mouse draws dust up into the mouse body and eventually the mouse stops responding. To clean it, follow these instructions:
1. Open the mouse and remove the ball.
Clean it with warm soapy water.
Rinse and dry the ball.
Most importantly, while the ball is drying, clean the black dirt off the mouse's internal rollers. (There are three of them). A cotton swab with a little alcohol on it works well, or you may be able to simply scratch the dirt off with your fingernail.
When the mouse is completely dry, put the pieces back together.
Another alternative is to throw out your old mouse and treat yourself to an optical mouse which doesn't collect dust. They are not too expensive, and are very reliable.
Sometimes a problem seems complicated and the solution is quite simple. Many programs have a built-in Help program which is easily searched and which provides step-by-step instructions. The Help button usually appears at the top right of your screen, on the Menu bar.