Q: I seem to lose my Internet connection quite often. What could be causing this?

A: There are different reasons why an Internet connection fails and it also depends on the Internet connection type you have. If you have a dial-up connection, the cause could be extra noise running through the phone line, you let your computer sit in idle mode too long or maybe you have some type of call waiting. All of those things will hinder a dial-up connection. Many of you may have a cable modem, so we'll move on to that type right now. Sometimes a cable modem can lose a connection simply because it gets tired. If you leave your computer on for several days at a time, your modem may start to build up, causing it to stop at random times. If this happens every so often, the best possible thing to do is unplug your modem, wait about 30 seconds and then just plug it back in. You may not like having to resort to that, but sometimes a good "unplug and replug" is all it needs. Now, if your modem seems to be crashing every day, it's possible that the modem is going bad and it's best just to replace it. There could be other factors going into the modem problem, such as a software issue. You don't really want to mess around with those types of things. The problem could also be your firewall. If you have more than one computer in your home set up on a home network and yours is the only one having trouble connecting to the Internet, it may not be a problem with the modem; it just might be your firewall. Firewalls do a good job of blocking Internet connections, depending on the settings you have on it. You could have a setting that is stopping the connection or there could be a bug within the firewall software.  To check on this, open up your firewall to the configuration screen (this will be different for each firewall program) and look through the list to see what programs are being blocked from connecting to the Internet. If you don't really catch anything, try turning off the firewall or even uninstalling it. After you do that, reboot your computer and see if the connection problem is still there. If it's not, you may want to consider getting a new firewall. (If you have a router between your computer and the cable modem, your router might already have a firewall built in anyway).  You can uninstall the firewall program by going to Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Once you find it, highlight it and click Remove to take it off your system. Note: Your firewall may have come with your antivirus software, so make sure you select only to have the firewall removed and not the whole package). Lastly, if none of the above guidelines solves your problem, you may need to contact your Internet provider and see if they can do anything else to help you. The problem could lie in your neighborhood cabling and if that's the case, your neighbors could be affected too.
Q. Are you worried about what your children or grandchildren will encounter while surfing the Web? How do I  set-up Content Advisor?

A. 1. Open Internet Explorer, hit the Tools menu, Internet Options.
2. Click the Content tab. You'll see a Content Advisor area. Click the Enable button.
3. You'll get a tabbed screen chock full of exciting security options. The first tab is "Ratings" and it's the first step in the process. It will filter out sites that have an "RASC" rating that doesn't match your preferences, but it will also filter out any site that simply has no rating at all.
4. The next tab is called "Approved Sites" and it's the solution for letting your kids get to sites that do not have an RASC rating yet. You can set this up in one of two ways.
The first, and most difficult method is to manually type in sites you think are safe. Just type in the address of the site in the "Allow this Web site" box and click the "Always" button.
The easy way:
Once Content Advisor is set up with a password (next step), you will get a prompt for that password every time you land on a site without a rating. This screen will give you the option to always allow the site. This is a much faster way to go.
5. Okay, here's the last critical step: setting up a password. Click the General tab and you'll see the password setup under the "Supervisor Password" area. Go ahead and click the button and then just follow the directions to set up your password.
That's it! Your Content Advisor is now set up and ready to filter. Keep in mind that this is not foolproof, but it's a lot better than letting your kids traipse all over the Internet unsupervised.
Also, if the kids aren't going to be using the computer, you can easily disable it. Just head back to the Content tab and click the "Disable" button in the "Content Advisor" area. That way, you're not getting prompted on every un-rated page you visit.
Q. What is a runtime error and what is its purpose?

A. It's probably no surprise that everyone reading this has probably come across a runtime error sometime in their computer using lives. Runtime errors are common, but what are they? Here's a little description for you. Basically, it is an error that occurs during the execution of a program. Runtime errors go along with the "bug" errors that you may sometimes see as well. The error tells you that your system has found certain bugs in the program you are using. The error also indicates some problems that the creators of the program anticipated on, but couldn't fix. There are various runtime error numbers, each referring to a different problem and they can occur in various programs, including Outlook Express and Internet Explorer. If you are hit with a runtime error, look at the assigned number and do a Web search on it. Chances are, you will find a quick fix. Here is an example of one runtime error that could come up. A common example of a runtime error is running out of memory. This could easily cause the error to show up on your computer. Runtime errors are fairly easy to recover from and they are nothing like a system crash. So, the next time your computer is invaded by a runtime error, you'll know what's going on and you'll know how you can go about fixing it fast!
Q: I use Outlook Express and even though my Outbox appears empty, it keeps trying to send a message. What's going on?

A: Isn't that the worst?! I mean, you know you have sent all of your messages out, but Outlook Express still insists that you haven't.  Well, there are a couple of things you can check before you go off and switch e-mail programs.  The first thing you'll want to check is your Outbox folder. Go in there and click on the View menu and choose Current View. Once there, make sure the "Show All Messages" choice is selected. This ensures that you're able to see all of the messages that are contained in your Outbox folder. If you then see an e-mail message appear, you can send it off normally or even delete it if you want. The next thing you can check is within the Outbox folder itself. Go to File, Folder, Compact. If nothing happens, your folder is probably okay and you don't need to worry about it any longer. If you happen to get an error message, the Outbox.dbx file may be damaged. There are a couple of causes for this. One could actually be an antivirus program that scans outgoing e-mail. Unknown to some, the e-mail scan isn't really necessary to protect your computer, especially if you have a regular antivirus program running as well. Go ahead and disable any e-mail scans to prevent any other e-mail files from being damaged in the future. If you did have a damaged Outbox file, the next thing you'll want to do is repair it (obviously!) To do this, you need to know where your store folder is for your e-mails. If you're not sure where it is, go to Tools, Options and click on the Maintenance tab. Toward the bottom is the Store Folder button. Click on that and a box will pop up telling you where your store folder is located on your computer. It will give you a drive letter. Write that down if you think you'll forget. You can also change the location at this point if you want to do that. Once you have that, close Outlook Express and open up your store folder. Find the file titled "Outbox.dbx" in there and delete it. When you open Outlook Express again, a new Outbox folder will automatically be created, so you can continue to use it just like normal. Most times, the problem lies within an unsent message, but it's good to know what to do if that isn't the case!
Q: I often get an error message of MDATA.DAT every time I restart my computer. What does this mean?

A: First of all, this error message usually refers to the mouse. If you have recently installed a new mouse on your computer, you may need to remove the software that came with your mouse and see if you can pinpoint the problem that way. So, if you do have a new mouse, go to Start, All Programs, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Look around in there for the company name of the mouse or anything that might be related to the new mouse and remove it from the list. Once all of that is removed, reconnect your mouse, restart your computer and update the drivers. To update the drivers, go to Start, All Programs, Control Panel and double click on the Mouse icon. (Make sure you are in the classic view in the Control Panel for this). Now, choose the Hardware tab (may be the General tab for versions older than XP) and click on the Properties button. Under here, you're going to want to choose the Driver tab and then click on the Update Driver button. Just follow the steps and then restart your computer when you're done. If there is no driver update available, you can can click on the Uninstall button and go about removing it that way. When you do that, you will receive a "Confirm Device Removal" box. Just hit OK. You don't have to worry about Windows not recognizing your mouse when you restart your computer, because it always will. You will then just have to restart your computer again so the changes will take effect. You may even be prompted to restart again just to make sure the configurations you made are kept. Now, you're probably wondering what you do if you haven't recently started using a new mouse. Well, if your old mouse is giving you problems with the MDATA.DAT error message, you can try a little troubleshooting. Go to Start, All Programs, Control Panel and click on the Mouse icon. Once there, go to the Hardware tab (General tab for older Windows versions) and click on the Troubleshoot button. This will then run a diagnostic test to see if your mouse is working properly or not. If the test comes back and says that your mouse is working right (even though you know it isn't!), you can go back to the Hardware tab and click on the Properties button. You can then follow the same directions as above to update your drivers and see if things can be fixed that way. Hopefully, with either uninstalling or updating, you will be able to find the mouse problem and the error message will be gone forever
Hosted by