June 29 2011

Jun - 22 2011 | By

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Firefox 5 is available. Paul said it's functionally more streamlined and goes a little faster but many of the buttons have been rearranged. You can put them where you want if you right click (control click on a Mac) in the gray area "where the menu is" and go down to customize. You can then drag & drop the buttons where you want. You can also select different icons and install ones not there originally — like the print icon.
Glenn said he likes to have the tab bar directly above the webpage — that's not the default position in the latest Firefox. You can change that by clicking on the gray area again and uncheck the option that says 'Tabs on top'.
One of the things Paul likes about the new Firefox is that if you go to tools -> addons, they are all systematically organized on a single page.
Addons for Firefox are available in groups, one of which is appearance and, specifically, skins. These allow you to choose the general appearance of Firefox.

Talk turned to Internet Explorer 9. It's not available for XP, maybe Microsoft wants to encourage you to move to Windows 7. Like Firefox, it too has done away with many of the tool bars, like the menu bar. Again, you have to right click and choose the options to restore the ones you want.

Glenn recalled that this trend, to minimize what tool bars are displayed, started with Internet Explorer 7.

Paul brought up the issue of getting used to the look & feel of a program and desiring some continuity as new versions come out. He mentioned Winamp — an audio player and suggested listeners give it a try. When they went from version 4 to 5 the look of it became subdued and dark and he had trouble seeing the menus. He said many programs now have the option of changing the skin to make the appearance more to your liking.

Bruce called and wanted to know how to get rid of the search box in the Firefox tool bar.
– Drag it off and stick it on the tablet <after you right click gray area -> customize). You can drag to or drag from the tool bars when you customize.

Betsy called. She's having a problem getting indented paragraphs in Word.
– Setting a tab won't do, a long line will again return to the left margin.
– Use the ruler & set the '1st line indent' feature.
She didn't see a ruler and asked how to get it to display.
– Pick the 'View' on the menu and pick the item called ruler.
– On the ruler, toward the left end, there's an up & down pointing triangles. These set the indent 1st line and also the indent of subsequent lines.
– Resist using the carriage return or you'll subvert the indenting process.
– In the studio, Glenn used Words help feature to search for 'don't auto-align' and came up with more suggestions.

Eric called. He has Norton Anti-virus and keeps getting a pop-up window asking him to renew his subscription. He asked how to stop the pop-up. He also wanted to know that, if he didn't subscribe to Norton after the trial period, would it stop protecting his computer.
– It doesn't stop the protection but it won't keep up with the latest threats and will become ineffective.
– Uninstall Norton. And, if you have a legitimate version of the Microsoft operating system, get the free Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG programs.
– Glenn said Norton & Mcafee are "top-heavy", they use a lot of resources.
– In the past security suits came with anti-virus, firewall, anti-spam, etc. These days the browsers do much of the work <the firewall comes with the operating system>, so now you need an anti-virus and "that's about it".
– To uninstall Norton use Add & Remove Programs in the Control Panel. Uninstall anything that says 'norton' or 'symantec'
– You can also use Revo Uninstaller, which will uninstall Norton and clean up the registry too. Many programs don't uninstall completely, Revo helps with that.
– For example AVG leaves behind traces of itself when uninstalled. You can get an uninstaller special to AVG. Microsoft Essentials may have trouble installing if it finds traces of AVG.
<I think this is where you can find the AVG uninstaller. On the page http://www.avg.com/us-en/utilities you'll see… AVG Remover(32bit) 2011 or AVG Remover(64bit) 2011 >
– Adobe Creative Suite also has a special program for removing all traces of that application.

<For more on Microsoft Security Essentials, links to articles about it and to a chart comparing it to other anti-virus programs, see the 5-11-11 show notes>
<Here's a forum discussion about uninstalling AVG>

Charlie called. He has Gmail & wants to know how to sort his mail by sender.
The guys googled for information but couldn't find a solution.
– They found various tips to search for a particular user in the Gmail search bar, but that's not what he asked for.
– Paul found, by searching for 'gmail sort', some javascript that you can paste into the search bar. That may be beyond what most people are willing to do.
– Use Thunderbird (or other email client) for mail, it can sort.
– Google documentation is actually very good. It can help you set up Gmail so you'll be able to receive your gmail in a local email program (like Thunderbird), but you'll have to turn it on. Start by logging in to Gmail and clicking on the cog in the upper right.
Paul said he's had good result using IMAP instead of POP3. IMAP will continue to show mail that you previously received on another machine, something POP3 will not do.
Using IMAP, Paul said, Thunderbird can color code your email (important, work, personal, etc) if you use the numeric keypad while reading a particular email. If you later use Thunderbird on another machine, the coloring of the messages will persist.

Ron called, He has a year and a half old iMac and he gets the "spinning beach ball" a lot now. He wanted to know what virus protection he needs.
– None. Recently there was a worm that tried to make you think you need to download virus protection. Just don't click to accept the suggestion and nothing will be installed on the Mac.
– Ron's problem has nothing to do with a virus.
– The spinning beach ball means the Mac is busy doing something.
– Ron said said he gets it when switching tabs in Firefox.
– Try deleting the preference folder for the application causing the problem (e.g. Firefox). But this may cause the loss of the bookmarks.
– Get a fresh copy of Firefox & install it over the previous version. Previous updates may have only patched Firefox. A fresh install may take care of the problem.
Ron asked if Firebug (an addon) might be causing the slow down.
– In Firefox go to tools -> addons disable (don't uninstall) Firebug (and the other addons) and see if the problem goes away.
– Basic clean up in the Mac is simple. Go to the utilities folder -> applications -> disk utility, click once on the hard drive & choose repair.

James called. He has a Mac PowerBook and been running the Safari browser. He keeps getting some sort of message from Firefox.
– Uninstall Firefox. Go into the application folder and drag it to the trash. But don't empty the trash just yet, in case you'd like to bring it back.

Being legally blind, James has trouble reading the captchas when he tries to login to Facebook.
– Use the audio button next to the captcha to hear an audio alternative to the captcha. The audio may be different from the visual captcha.
– James said he's had no success with the audio. Glenn suggested he ask someone to help him log in.
– KVMR uses a similar system for their Community Calendar event submission form. They had to use captchas because they were getting spammed a lot.

Mark called asking about the virus that tries to make you think your computer is infected.
– There are a number of malware programs that work similarly. When you go to a specially crafted web page, there's a Flash animation that plays and makes it look like your computer is being scanned for a virus and then "finds" an infection. It then asks you to buy anti-virus protection or to update your anti-virus program. As in Ron's situation above, DON'T CLICK on it. DON'T give them your credit card number. Once they get your credit card number, they can charge what they want on it.
– This malware is known by different names: bogusware; freakwar, smitfraud and combo virus.
– Popular websites like the New York Times can hit by this scam thus leveraging your trust.
– Genuine anti-virus programs don't detect it because the signature files can't be updated quickly enough.
– Proactively use Plugin Check (google the words <or try this one>) to check the version of your Flash plugin. Outdated versions can facilitate the fraud.
– But if you already have the malware, search for "combo fix" on Google and follow the instructions.
– While you can, back up your machine, though Paul said he's never seen these viruses actually "kill the machine", they just try to get money from you.
– You may have to search for the information on a different machine because some of these viruses prevent you from getting to certain websites where help is available.

Russ called from Sacramento. He has Mac Pro, his wife has a PC and they have Comcast for their internet. Comcast sent them a message saying one of their computers has an evil bot and that they sent him Norton Anti-virus. He couldn't get anymore info from Comcast.
– Glenn thought that it was a phishing email, but Russ said he called Comcast and they confirmed sending the email.
– In that case it's up to them to tell you what to do.

Next show is on July 13
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Last updated: 9:16 PM 6/29/2011