Software for all computers

Welcome to the computers with ease podcast I have noticed recently that several of my clients have what I consider key pieces of software missing from their computers, whether it’s an existing machine or a new computer that they just purchased.

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to give you some ideas about what I consider to be essential pieces of software should be on every computer. The first piece of software that I recommend is an antivirus program, since most of us spend a great deal of time on the Internet and using e-mail which are two of the key ways that we can get a virus so I recommend having an antivirus program.

The one that I use is called AVG they have a free version of the program as well as paid options, I use the free version I have been using it for several years and it works just fine.

Another program that I recommend is called the K-lite codec pack, this particular software contains audio and video encoders and decoders which allow you as a computer user to view many different audio and video files your computer will know how to play them so that you can listen and watch your videos and music properly.

This is a free download and I recommend getting the full version of this particular software it comes in basic, standard and the full version.

Since many of us also read a lot of PDF files which are very prevalent on the Internet I recommend having the Adobe reader software. This will allow you to view PDF files from many sources, this particular software can be downloaded from the Adobe website which is

Another piece of important software is backup software I highly recommend computer users have a backup system in place to help recover from a major system error or hardware failure. So that you’re not having to reinstall all your software or even more importantly losing some valuable data that is irreplaceable and which would cause very great distress obviously if this material were lost.

If you install these four different programs the if you install these four different types of programs your computer will not only work more effectively but it will give you peace of mind knowing that you have a backup software package that’s working for you to keep your data and program safe.

You’ll also know that you’re protected when you are using your e-mail and searching on the Internet. I would like to hear from you if you have any favourite or key pieces of software that you would like to recommend to the rest of us I would like to hear what that software is for you please leave a comment below this podcast.

If you have comments questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at darrell@computerswithease.comyou may also visit my website which is Thank you very much.

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Gmail–why I like it

Welcome to the computers with ease podcast. we are all very busy and on the go all the time one of the things that has become very for this to me as close many of you is e-mail.

I know I am lost when I am out of touch and don’t have my e-mail available to me. One of my favourite applications is Gmail, this is an e-mail program through Google and its free service that allows you to set up an e-mail account that can be accessed from anywhere.

Meaning any public computer you can access it anywhere you have an Internet connection and this makes it very useful when I travel for conferences or when I’m away teaching in location such as a library. I can login to my Gmail account and access my email, I can also send e-mail messages I have access to my contacts that are in Gmail. It’s very simple very straightforward to use looks similar to the majority of other e-mail programs.

One of the other features that I really like this fact that I can add other e-mail accounts to be forwarded to my Gmail account, so for example any of my other e-mail accounts for my business that may be hosted in other places can be forwarded to my Gmail. I can then receive as well send e-mails as if it I was accessing one of my regular e-mail accounts even though I am out and using my Gmail account.

One of the other features that I appreciate is the fact that using Gmail I am not downloading the e-mail on to my own computer or a public computer the e-mails themself stay on the Google servers and I can access them from anywhere and can then see them in multiple locations and the e-mails won’t disappear.

So if you’re looking for a second e-mail account I highly recommend using a Gmail account, and if you want something that you can use anywhere you go Gmail is a very good free option.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at Feel free to check on my website which is www. Thank you very much.

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Happy Holidays 2011

It’s the holiday time again and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the best of the holiday season whatever that means for you. In my case it means spending time relaxing, doing things with friends and family that I don’t get a chance to do as often as I would like.

This holiday season may indeed have a lot of hustle and bustle, things that we all think that we have to do but the thing that I always try to remember at this time of year when things get hectic is what’s the real meaning of this time of year.

For me it means being with those that I love and want to spend as much time as possible with. Once again I wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons and I hope you get the opportunity to do all the things that you like to do with the people who are most important to you.

I also hope that 2012 is a good year for you with everything you want and would wish for. Thank you very much.

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Computer virus phone scam beware

Hello everyone I wanted to talk to you today about an item that I had happen to me very early this morning. I got a phone call from someone saying that they had information that my computer had viruses and other problems and this particular person representing this company was there to assist me with the problems that I had my computer.

He asked me if I had a Windows-based computer and I responded yes that I did and he then proceeded to say to me that he wanted me to go to my computer, turn it on and he would proceed to show me the problems that I had with the computer and would assist me in fixing these problems.

He said that he would connect to my computer and take care of my difficulties. When I proceeded to ask him some questions, I asked him where he was from and he said he was from Brisbane Australia. Then I asked how he had gotten my number, he said he had computer software that listed the numbers of everyone, and wouldn’t clarify any further.

This is a phone scam and what they want is for you to turn on your computer and grant them remote access, meaning that they are now inside your computer can look at your files and do various other things to your computer and get crucial information that is on your computer.

Because this individual called me at 1:30 in the morning along with the fact that I had been called several times before by other individuals claiming to be from the company that did the same thing I was highly suspicious and therefore did not grant them access to my computer for obvious reasons.

When I started doing some research in terms of was there information on this particular situation, I found that the Canadian antifraud center which is is there a website address when I looked up on their website there was in deed a PDF bulletin regarding this particular phone scam. I will leave the bulletin information in the show notes you can read it for yourself.

I reported this to the Canadian anti fraud center and the woman was very helpful she told me that there are several groups running this particular scam it’s all over the world and as she said there’s not much you can do other than hang up. Do not give these people access to your computers for any reason.

I find it very very frustrating and wanted to pass this information along to others of you, in the group of individuals that I teach I have found several of them have been contacted by these particular people and fortunately at this point no one has fallen for their scam.

So my best advice is don’t grant anyone remote access your computer unless you know who the person is and you trust them with your computer and the information that’s on it, having other people with your private information can be very dangerous as well is very expensive if someone gets a hold of your credit card information for example.

If you have had an experience similar to this please let me know in the comments and be safe and be cautious thank you very much.

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My E-mail is broken…Help

Have you ever had something that you wanted to share with other people ? A series of pictures a video or something that was rather large and you wanted to share it with other people so you tried to send it as an attachment with an e-mail, and found out that it was unable to be sent and you then find that you’re not able to send any other e-mails and even worse you’re not receiving any e-mails as well.

Your e-mail is now totally plugged up, this can be a very frustrating situation and it’s one that if you’re like me you need your e-mail working. A solution has to be found quickly I have a very simple solution that works as long as the program that you use for your e-mail is Microsoft Outlook.

If you’re like most people when you find that something is stuck in your outbox and not being sent you go in there and you right-click on the message and then select delete, hoping that it will remove the e-mail from your outbox unfortunately this does not work.

What you need to do is go into tools, then send and receive, then select send or receive settings and finally choose disable scheduled send and receive. Once you’ve done that go back into your outbox, right click on the message that’s still in your outbox and choose delete.

It won’t delete it right away, the next step is to actually shut down Outlook altogether and then restart it. By shutting it down you will let the computer clear out anything to do with Outlook and reset all the settings.

So once Outlook comes back up you should now be able to go back into your outbox once again and if the message is still there, this time you should be able to right click on it and choose delete and it will disappear because Outlook is no longer trying to send that e-mail, because you’ve turned off the send and receive automatically from the previous step that I described.

Now once the e-mail is actually gone from your outbox you will have to go back into tools, send and receive, and then send and receive settings, and once again click on disable scheduled send and receive to remove the checkmark from that selection.

This will now allow Outlook to send and receive automatically as it should, everything will work the way it did before prior to the e-mail that you tried to send that was too large, I hope this tip has been helpful.

If you have any questions comments or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at You may also want to visit my website which is Thank you very much

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Help with backup

Welcome to the computers with ease podcast. One of the most important topics to many computer users today is having a backup of the information and programs that are on your computers. Of course there are many different ways to protect yourself with a backup there are many different questions that you have to answer before deciding which form of backup is best for you.

I’ve come across two reasons why it’s important that you have a backup, the first one is if you’re planning on doing on upgrade to your operating system for example going from Windows Vista to Windows 7. In this particular case it’s said that you won’t have any problems when you’re upgrading between the two operating systems, however I would still recommend that you have a backup before attempting this as a safety net for you should anything happen.

The other time you may want to have a backup is when you’re about to install a new program, particularly something that is a major upgrade to an existing piece of software or a completely new piece of software that you’re going to be putting on the computer.

The reason for this is if there happens to be a conflict or problem with a piece of your existing software when you install the new program because there are times when the new program as well as an existing program occupy the same space in memory. Or want to use the same resources particularly items such as audio drivers and video drivers are known for this.

If you have this type of problem it may indeed cause a severe conflict and something may not work properly. In this case it may be simpler to restore from a backup to get you up on running again well you can research a possible solution to your conflict between the two programs.

This is of course only a few of the reasons I would suggest having a backup. if you find the topic of backing up your material confusing or are uncertain about specific questions related to a backup. I have a free report that will answer many of your questions please feel free to go to and download the free report from my home page

If you have any questions comments or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at Thank you very much.

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Help I have no internet !

Welcome to computers with ease podcast how many times have you had your Internet and e-mail stopped working? you’re not able to visit websites you normally visit, you’re not able to download files, and even more importantly you’re not able to get your e-mail.

This has happened to me quite frequently and it’s one of the questions that I get asked as a tech support professional. When this happens people understandably get very frustrated very quickly, knowing how important the Internet and e-mail are in our daily lives it’s very crucial that we maintain an ongoing Internet connection with as little downtime as possible.

I’m here to tell you that in the majority of cases there’s a very simple and end quick fix for this problem. I have both a modem from my Internet provider which gives me my high-speed Internet. I also have a router connected to the modem because we have multiple computers in our household.

What I often find is that either the modem from the Internet provider has frozen or locked up even though the lights and so on appear to be on it appear to be functioning as they should, it tends to sometimes stop working also because we have a router there can be a problem with that as well.

What I tend to do when this situation arises is power down the router first then let it come back up and then power down the Internet modem and let it cycle back through. This entire process should take no more than approximately 5 min, in 95% of the cases this procedure will clear out what ever problems you’re having with the signal not getting through.

I hope this is been helpful in the alleviates one of your major frustrations in using the computer and the Internet.

If you have any questions comments or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at you may also want to visit my website which is Thank you very much.

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Email attachments simplified

Hello welcome to the Computers with Ease podcast, one of the most frequent questions I get asked about is using attachments with e-mail. So I thought I would talk about some of the basics involved in using attachments. For our purposes I’m going be talking about attachments in relation to two different programs, one being Gmail e-mail the other one being Outlook e-mail.

Attachments can be anything that you want a PDF file, word document, a photo or spreadsheet basically anything on your computer that you want to send it to someone else along with an e-mail.

I’ll start by talking about Gmail once you opened your new e-mail and put in all the information such as who the e-mail is to, the subject line and the body of your e-mail itself you will find part way down the page you will see something that says attach a file.

If you click on that, the computer will come up and ask you where is the file that you want to attach with this e-mail. You can then navigate to where the particular file is you want to send along with the e-mail click on it and it will then attach that file along with the e-mail.

You can attach several files if you like my only caution here is make sure that you don’t attach too many so that you overload your e-mail server, because some servers have a limit to how large your files can be that you can send with an e-mail.

But essentially once you have attached the file you simply send the e-mail as you normally would. The person on the other end who gets the e-mail with the attachment simply clicks on it to open it or if they’re using Gmail as well they want it to option to view it or download it to their computer whichever is most appropriate for them.

Now if we switch to looking at attachment in Outlook, it’s slightly different in that instead of having something that says attach a file you have a button on your toolbar that looks like paperclip, and by clicking on that you are essentially able to once again navigate to where the file is and attach that to your e-mail that you want to send and send the e-mail as you normally would.

Once again the person on the other end will simply see the paperclip in their e-mail when the e-mail comes in, so they’ll know that there is an attachment there and it will be at the bottom of the e-mail itself.

They simply click on it to open it and look at it, if you are going to send pictures which is a frequent thing for example with families all over the place often they send photos back and forth, but one thing with photos if you look at them click on them to open and sometimes they tend to be very large and you only see a small portion of the picture on your screen for example the upper left-hand corner.

This means that for whatever reason Outlook is opening the photo in full size, and my recommendation so that you can see the entire picture properly so it fits on your screen is to save the attached photo somewhere on your computer and then open the picture to view it using a photo viewer such as Windows photo viewer or whatever photo viewer that you are familiar with.

In most cases using this program it will size the photo properly to fit on your screen and you’ll see the entire photo. If you would like a free e-book on the subject of e-mail and attachments go to my website which is and find the link in the sidebar.

If you have any questions comments or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at you may also want to visit my website which is Thank you very much.

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So much information !

Hello everyone I don’t know about you but I’m finding that there’s so much information available out there today in a variety of places such as the Internet and so on that I’m finding I’ve got information overload, and yet as I try and sort through the information that is on the Internet on blogs and in various places that I visit regularly.

There’s so much of it that I would like to keep for future reference or ideas for projects things like that, for the longest time I wondered how could I captured this information and keep it readily available and yet make it easy to update as more information or new information came along.

I’ve been using the system for a while now that I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you because I’m finding it quite effective as well as simple to start and simple to maintain. The best news is you probably already have everything you need because the solution that I’ve implemented is to simply use my word processor which in this case is Microsoft Word version 2010.

I create a document and then as I find articles and information that I want to store I simply copy that information with any headings and so on from the article into word and I make the article title a heading two item in word and then I have categories for information say on Windows, a section on Word, another one on Excel.

Several other categories that I use based on for example the programs I teach and so on but the categories are totally up to you based on your needs and I make those a heading one and I start each of the new heading one items on a separate page.

Then what I do to tie all of this together at the begin of the document is to create a table of contents and then using the table of contents you can select to have the table of contents show your heading one heading two and heading three items and that way when you create the table of contents it will then list all your heading one items and then any heading two items are below that so you end up with a very nice table of contents.

Using the table of contents you can simply click on any item and you will go right to that article and then as I put articles in to this document I then save it which updates everything and that I simply store this document on my desktop which makes it very easy for me to access so what I’m looking for any of the information I can quickly flip through the table of contents to see if what I’m looking for is there.

If it is I click on the item and I go directly to it and I can refer to it as often as I want and with this created I now have a way to store valuable information and this can be quickly and easily updated, I can also put it on a flash drive if I need to take this document with me anywhere so it’s very versatile and easy to maintain.

I hope this tip is helpful to you if you have any comments questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment add to the bottom of this post.

Thank you very much.

Note Each time you add something to the document you must update the table of contents before saving the document for the change to thetable of contents to take effect.

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Welcome to 2011

Hello this is Darrell Hyatt of the computers with ease podcast. Welcome to 2011, now is a time to reflect on the year that has past as well as the year that has just started.

2010 was a very good year for me. I got to do a lot of things that I very much wanted to do, my business did better than it did in 2009 and I look forward to making 2011 my best year yet.

I want to help many more people with their computer questions and computer challenges. I want to make this year the year that my business gets known by more people in more places and to this end I have several things that I want to do.

I’m going to start having office hours, where individuals can connect with me and ask any computer related question that’s on their mind and I will assist them in solving their computer quandaries and answering their questions.

Also in 2011 I am going to be doing some joint ventures with individuals that I met in 2010 which will allow me to reach a much wider audience and allow me to explore different avenues and different ways of connecting with individuals.

I have a question for all of you who are listening I would like you to let me know what your top three computer challenges are for 2011. Things that you would like to either have an answer for or a computer problem or challenge that you have been unable to solve up till this point.

If you have any questions comments or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at you may also visit my website which is

I look forward to receiving your comments questions and challenges for 2011 that you would like assistance with thank you very much.

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