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Issue #184: January 30, 2011

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People are seeking information this week that I cannot necessarily provide without your assistance, my fellow Geeks!  Let’s see if we can get some answers to these two letters, shall we?

Q: I attended your computer expo last year in Crestview, and thoroughly enjoyed it, and found it quite useful. Unfortunately I’m not able to get down from Canada in time this year.  I have a question for you – I live in a retirement community and when folks move into the area, they often need help setting up their computers, installing routers, transferring data, that sorta’ thing. Can you give me any guidance as to what sorta’ computer training program would cover this agenda? I hope to be able to get some training in this area when I’m in Fort Walton Beach in February & March.

– Shirley D.
Newcastle, Ontario, Canada

A: Shirley, there is quite likely a great deal of commercially-produced computer training available, but I suspect you’re looking for something a little less formal?  I’m sure my Geek minions will let me know if there’s something out there, and I’ll pass the information on to you.

Q: I sit on the Board of the Niceville Library and we are currently looking for someone to manage our Friends of the Library website on a volunteer basis.  With your connections in the computer field, I was wondering if you know anyone who would like to take on this responsibility? 

– Kathy D.
Niceville, Fla

A: What about it, Geeks?  Is there anyone with a background in web development who would like to take on a pro bono project for a good cause?  This sounds to me like a perfect project for a school’s computer science program to take on. 

Q: I have a problem with my computer.  When I type, the cursor jumps all over the places. It happens only when I type in English.  I use the both Japanese and English languages.  Please help me to correct the problem.

A:  I bet you’re using a laptop, aren’t you Kimie?  I’ve seen this happen before, when the heel of your hand either gets too close, or actually rests the laptop’s touchpad while you’re typing.  The touchpad is, of course designed to move the mouse, but is intended for use with a single finger.  When the heel of your hand hits it, the result is what you said:  the cursor jumps all over the place.  The first thing I’d try is turning down the sensitivity of the touchpad.  You can get to its configuration screens by right-clicking the touchpad icon in your system tray, or, if the icon is not enabled, by looking for it on the Control Panel (choose “Mouse” if there is no touchpad-specific item).  If that doesn’t help, some laptops have a button or switch near the touchpad that allows you to turn it on and off at will.  I’ve also had pretty good luck using an index card.  Cut it to fit over the pad, and maybe tape it in place if your pad is not recessed.  If you use an external mouse, and have no need for the touchpad at all, you could go into the Device Manager and disable it altogether.

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