Computer Repairs Bribie Island

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Handy Tips For The User









How to Update Windows Without an Internet Connection

Microsoft frequently releases Security and other essential updates for Windows. These updates fix newly discovered bugs and raise the defense level against new malware threats. If you do not have internet connection or have slow internet then you will not be able to receive the automatic updates from Microsoft. But you do not have to miss out on these important updates if you use a third party utility called Autopatcher.

AutoPatcher allows you to download updates for your windows operating system, saving them for offline installation. This gives you the ability to update any computer without internet connection.

How to Update Windows Without an Internet Connection

•  You will need a USB flash drive or an external hard drive. To obtain internet access, you can chose to use an public internet cafe, a friends internet, or internet access if often offered at your local public library.

•  Download the Autopatcher program from

•  After downloading this software just install and run it.

•  It will prompt you to select the operating system for which you want to download the updates and click on Next button.

•  Now Select your OS whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit supported. If it is 32-bit then select X86 otherwise select X64 and click on Next button. (if you are not sure, click on control panel and system - your system information should be displayed here)

•  A list of all updates for your OS will be shown.

•  Select all the Updates and click on Download button.

•  After finishing the download just copy/paste all the downloaded updates to your USB device.

•  Now insert the USB device into your system for which you have downloaded all these updates and install them.

That is it! This is the best method to install the updates in Offline mode and secure your PC. This works for all windows OS (Window 7/Vista/XP).


How To Enable Additional Gmail Emoticons

Gmail has a large collection of features which are often overlooked because they are not enabled by default. It gives you the freedom of choice to enable only those additional features which are important to you.

•  Login Into your Gmail account

•  Click on the Cog Icon on the top-right corner and select Labs

•  You will see a lot of features, search for Extra Emoji

•  Enable Extra Emoji and Saves Changes

This will activate all the additional chat emoticons for your Gmail

How easy was that!

Now whenever you create a new email you can choose from 100's of new emoticons.


Making Greeting Cards with Microsoft Word 2007 and Word 2010

Why not save money and add a personal touch by creating your own homemade cards for friends and family. Any event, any occasion. Your cards can easily be made in a simple program like Microsoft Word. Choose a nice paper stock and you are ready to start. Slight differences will occur in varying versions of Word, but I am sure you will get the idea.

•  Click on the Office Button from the top left corner.

•  Open Microsoft Word. Click on New. The New Document window will open.

•  From the list under Templates, click on Greeting Cards.

You will find a great variety of options within the Greeting Cards section.

At this point, make sure you are connected to the internet. You will be connected to the Microsoft Office Online site. From their online site, you can access hundreds of templates.

The Office Genuine Advantage validation dialog box will appear. This is to ensure you are using a licensed copy of their product. You might also have to download the updated version of OGA to be capable of downloading a template.

Once you have selected your template, you can let your imagination flow as you customise colours, fonts, and of course, a personal message.

Now you can print the card and see how it looks.

Why not make your cards even more memorable by adding your own photos. Keep a selection of papers for any occasion. If using white paper, use a minimum of 100gsm paper. Using coloured paper, glossy and other photo papers will give you a great finished appearance.


How to avoid fake Security Warnings or pop-ups

If you are browsing the internet and find yourself being redirected to an unwanted site, or your get 'pop-ups' on your screen displaying different messages, for example" free update for your computer", "scan your computer with free antivirus".

Whilst some of these messages may be genuinely helpful, MOST ARE NOT. Be sure to read these messages very carefully before accepting anything! Pop-ups are usually an advertising message or an unwanted program or website that is capable of causing considerable harm to your computer system.

If you are working with Internet Explorer and want to block the pop-ups windows and unwanted messages:-

Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools menu in XP or Internet Options in Vista or later. Click on the privacy tab where you will find the Pop-up Blocker option. Here you can turn on the Pop-up Blocker to block pop-up's from all websites. You have option to allow some websites to display pop-up's if you choose. If you wish to allow some pop-ups, click on settings. Here you can add specific website's to allow for pop-up's.


Connect Your Mobile Phone to your Computer Via Bluetooth

You can use Bluetooth technology to connect laptop and your mobile phone. Move videos, images, photos and music between your desktop computer or a laptop and your mobile phone without the needs for cables. Great for holidays, it is one less cable to carry. In order to use Bluetooth technology to connect your laptop and mobile phone you must have a computer/laptop and a mobile phone which support this technology.

If your computer doesn't support it, you can use a USB Bluetooth dongle, available from Computer Repairs Bribie @ The Ink Shop. Simply plug it into the USB port of the desktop computer or laptop. Leave the rest to Microsoft Windows. Follow these simple steps in order to use Bluetooth technology to connect laptop and mobile: (In this example, we are using Windows Vista and a Nokia phone.)

•  Turn on the Bluetooth feature on your mobile phone.

•  Make this Setting on the mobile phone: my Phone's visibility:- Shown to all

•  Now on your computer open Bluetooth Devices by clicking on its icon in the Control Panel.

•  OR - Look for the Bluetooth driver in the Device Manager and double-click on its icon.

•  Click on the Add button in Bluetooth Devices dialog box.

•  Check the box for "My devices is set up and ready to be found" in the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard dialog box.

•  Click on the Next button.

This device wizard will display the name of any discovered Bluetooth devices.

•  Click on the device name that you would like to add and click on Next.

•  Select "Let me choose my own key" or "Choose a passkey for me" and click on Next.

It will now display the passkey. Key this into the mobile phone. Now the computer is initiating to install the Bluetooth device. (Click Yes as you see the prompt message on the cell phone to allow connection with the laptop.)

•  Click on the Finish button to close the dialog box of Add Bluetooth Device Wizard.

The Bluetooth device (your mobile phone) is now displayed in Bluetooth Devices dialog box. Select the Bluetooth device and click on the Properties button.

The Properties dialog box for the device will become visible. Choose the Services tab.

•  Check the boxes for the services you want.

Now you can simply transfer photos, videos etc to your mobile phone freely via Bluetooth technology.

This method can also be used to connect laptop to Bluetooth devices like Bluetooth mouse, Bluetooth keyboard, Bluetooth headset, etc.


How to send a voice mail to your friends using Windows

E-mail is a most popular and effective way to communicate with others through the internet. You can send documents, pictures and other types of files to any destination, but did you know that you can send also your voice in an e-mail? In windows XP, you can record your voice using Sound Recorder and a microphone options.

Follow these simple steps to record your voice in Windows XP (similar steps apply for Vista and Windows 7):-

To use this feature, you will need to be logged into your computer with administrative rights.

If you are using a desktop computer (ie tower type) you will need to use an external microphone, plugged in to the coloured jacks at the rear of your tower. Most laptops and notebooks have built in microphones.

•  First click on Start button > All programs > Accessories > click Entertainment and then click on Sound Recorder option.

Now a small Sound Recorder will appear, go to File menu and click on New to start a new file for recording.

•  Click on Record button to start recording your message then click on Stop button to stop the recording.

•  Now again click on File menu to save this file with a .wav extension to a folder of your choice.

Now you can attach this voice file to an email and send your personal message!


How to Increase the Speed of your Printer?

You can improve the printing speed of your printer with these two tips.

1. Managing the print spooler option.

Simply put, you printer has a spooler, or buffer that holds your print jobs before sending them to the printer. This process allows for multiple users in a network environment to print to the one printer with a queuing action. By default on most printers, the printer spooler option is enabled. If we turn off the spooler option, your print time will be improved. Here again the printer spooler option might be in a different location in your printer but on most printers you can turn off printer spooling by following these steps. Click on > Start, > Setting then > Printers. Now right click on the icon of the printer that you are using. Click > Properties and select the Advanced tab. Here click on "Print directly to printer" option. Bypassing the spooler will tie up your application until the printer has all the data, but your print job should finish quicker. Printing directly to the printer will also come in handy if your print spooler crashes and you need to print before you reboot your PC.

2. Change Printer Settings

The following example uses Windows Vista, however a very similar process applies for XP and Windows 7, Mac or PC. Inkjet printers have a variety of pre-set ink saturation levels, commonly fine or high, normal and fast. Printers are set to normal by default. When you are printing your in-house documents or a draft there is no need to use that much ink. Conversely, if you are printing high quality documents, like pictures or perhaps your resume, it is advisable to use the higher setting for a better quality print.

•  Using any application program, choose to print your document. The following print dialogue box, or similar should appear on your screen. Click on > Printer Properties:-;

•  From the drop-down option in diagram 2 below, select the print quality suitable to your present print job.

Not only will you speed up your printing, you will save on ink too!

At The Ink Shop, we will refill your empty ink cartridges for a fraction of the new price.


Can I Improve the Performance of my Wireless Internet and Network Connection?

Windows gives you a notification whenever your wireless network has a weak signal. This is a sign that you should improve your wireless network. When you get this notification, it means that the wireless connection is not as reliable or performing as quickly as it should be. In fact, the wireless connection signal may be completely lost in certain areas of the house. If you would like to improve your wireless network signal, try a few of these tips. They should improve the overall performance as well as reliability of the wireless network.

•  Re-position the wireless router (or wireless access point) to the centre of the house.

•  Place the router away from walls.

•  Place the router off the floor.

•  Place the router away from metal objects.

Instead of using a standard antenna which you get with the router, use a hi-gain antenna, available from The Ink Shop. If the standard router is placed by an outer wall, part of the wireless signals will be directed outside the house. Hi-gain antennas send the wireless signals in a single specific direction which you are able to aim on the path where you need them most.

Replace your laptop or computer's wireless network adapter with a USB network adaptor. It uses an external antenna that improves the range of the signals.

Add a wireless repeater to extend the signal range.

Change the wireless router's channel to increase the strength of its signal. You can do that through the configuration page of the router. The computer will detect the new channel itself.

Reduce wireless interference by avoiding wireless electronics which use the 2.4GHz frequency. You should use cordless phones which use the 900MHz or 5.8GHz frequencies.

Update your firmware updates for your router through the manufacturer's website. Update your network adapter driver through the Windows Update feature of Windows 7 and Vista or visit the website for Windows XP.

Upgrade 802.11b devices to 802.11g or buy a new 802.11 g equipment. It is five times faster than an 802.11b device. All your networking needs are available from Computer Repairs Bribie @ The Ink Shop, whether you would like us to do it for you, or you would prefer to D.I.Y.

These tips are provided freely and in good faith. No responsibility can be taken for loss or damage arising from the information provided.


Computer Repairs Bribie at The Ink Shop   17 Benabrow Avenue, Corner 4 Warana Avenue

PO Box 624   Bellara   Queensland   Australia

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