Technology F.A.Q

Check here for answers to technology questions at BCS!

How do I remove and replace the icons in my Dock using Mac OSX?
The icons you see in your Dock are easy to remove and replace. To remove an icon from your dock, just click on it, drag it off the Dock, and let up your click....its gone in a "poof" of smoke! To place an icon on the Dock, first locate the program's icon in your hard drive. Once you find the program's icon, you can drag that icon onto the Dock....and it will stick right there!The icons in the Dock are actually aliases (icons that represent their programs, but are not the actual program itself), so adding and removing them from your Dock doesn't hurt a thing!

I Can't Open Any PDFs!
What is a PDF file? And why won't any of my computers read/or open them? So much out there that I can't see or use!

That's a great question, because websites are full of PDF files, and you will miss a lot if your machine can't handle them. In fact, our website uses PDF files quite a bit, as you probably have seen by surfing our pages.

PDF stands for Portable Document Format... It is a file format used primarily on websites, and in cases where people need to exchange documents. This PDF format is the most popular because in order to read it, all you need is a free application called "Adobe Acrobat Reader". This application is free and available on lots of different websites (just Google "acrobat reader" and you'll see what I mean!). Once you have the program on your machine you can view any PDF files you encounter!

How Much Memory Am I Using?
Where do I look to find how much memory I have used?

On a Mac:
To determine the amount of memory being used in OSX, access the utility called Process Viewer. Open Hard Drive........Open Application folder (the application folder with the "A" on it).....Open Utilities Folder.....Open Process Viewer

On a PC:
Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and click the "Task Manager" button. The Processes tab shows you what apps are using CPU and memory, and how much... The Perfomance tab shows you total usage and remaining resources as well as a nice graph to sum it up!

How Do I Clean the Screen on my Laptop?
To clean the LCD:
1. Turn off the computer or display. You may need to turn off the computer in order to turn off some displays.
2. Dampen a clean, soft, lint-free cloth or paper with water only.
3. Wipe the screen. DO NOT SPRAY LIQUID DIRECTLY ON THE SCREEN! You may also use a mild glass cleaner that contains no alcohol or ammonia. Most office supply stores sell cleaning kits specifically designed for this purpose.

My Computer Goes to Sleep Too Fast
Where do I go to lengthen the time before my computer goes into its sleep mode? It only stays up about 5 minutes when it is inactive before the screen goes blank. Sometimes I get interrupted while doing something on the computer and when I return it has gone to sleep and I click the mouse to activate it, but then I have to wait a minute, or so it seems, for my computer to be ready.

On a Mac:
If you are in OS X , look in your Dock and find the System Preferences; it looks like a little light switch with an apple on it. After opening that, look for the Ligh Bulb icon called "Energy Saver". Open that up and adjust the length of time your computer is inactive before it goes into sleep mode. If you are on an older Imac or G3, look under your Apple for your Control Panels, and open up the Control Panel called "Energy Saver". You'll find the same basic options there!

On a PC:
Click the Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel
Select Power Options
You can change the sleep times on this screen and click OK

Running Older Programs on Newer Machines
Some of our older software, mainly the student programs, require 256 color mode. Many programs will tell you to change it, but very few will do it automatically. Here are the steps to manually change to 256 Color Mode.

On a Mac:
Click on Preference icon from Dock
Click on the Display icon in the preference panel
Click the Colors pull down menu and choose 256 (millions is probably current setting)
Note the screen is now grainy, but your old programs will now run!

On a PC:
Right click the shortcut to the application
Click the Compatibility tab
Select "Run in 256 colors"

Printer Problem
I have another problem with my printer. For some reason, when I print a Word document, the printer does not print the apostrophes. Also, in a document I used a bullet, and my printer printed a funny looking Y with 2 lines in it. (This very same document was printed in our office here and has the bullets and the apostrophes.) Is this a setting that I can change or something that I can correct?

This is a problem with Postscript and the fonts your printer recognizes. This typically only happens on Mac computers using a Postscript or PS printer driver... Most printers recognize and reproduce the same general group of fonts, but sometimes there is a font that the printer has trouble with. In this case, it sounds like your printer is having trouble with Times New Roman. Try selecting the entire document under Edit, and change the font to Times. That should solve the problem!

Burning CDs
I'm having trouble burning CDs on my Mac laptop. I can transfer the files fine but after I think it has been burned...I can't open anything. In the help menu it says to drag the copied disk to the "BURN" icon on the dock. There is no burn icon on the dock. How do I get it there?

Burning CDs on the laptop should be a fairly easy thing....these are the directions we have on how to do this with OS X (which you have on your laptop!)....
1. Insert a blank CD
2. In the next screen, choose "open finder" for the most common burn procedure, which is copying data files from your computer to the CD.
Choose "open finder" to copy data and multimedia files to a CD that can be read by either a Mac or a PC. These data files can be read by a computer, but not a CD player or mp3 player.
Choose "open Itunes" to create music CDs that you can play on standard CD players or on your conputer. If you choose this option, Itunes opens so you can select a playlist to burn.
Choose "open disk copy" if you want to burn a "disk image" that exists on your computer onto a CD.
3. Drag folders and files to the CD icon.
4. Drag the CD icon to the trash. If the disk has not yet been burned, the Trash icon changes to the Burn CD icon. Or hold down the control key and click on the CD icon, then choose "burn disk".
5. As your files are prepared, burned, and verified, the "burn disc" window shows your progress.
6. After you are done, eject the disc by selecting it and clicking Apple-E, or press the "eject media" key on the upper right hand corner of your keyboard.

Readability Statistics in Word
Word does a Readability Statistics feature. It uses Flesch Reading Ease Score and Flesch-Kincaid Grade-Level Scoring. Readability scores are based on the average number of syllables per word and words per sentence.
To Enable this feature:
In an open a word document, Go to Tools Menu
Click Preferences
Click on the Spelling and Grammar TAB
Select the Show Readability statistics check box, then click OK
Readability Statistics will display after spelling and grammar check is complete.
Note: This feature will stay on until you turn it off.

I Lost All My Old E-mail
This morning when I got to work, I checked my e-mail and everything was fine. Then, when I checked it during my Plan (around 9:30), all of my old e-mails were gone. I had two new messages in my Inbox that were there and everything else is gone. Any ideas why?

This usually means you setup a smart phone or other device to use POP email to check your school mail account - your inbox messages are stored on the mail server and not your computer, and when a device using POP check the server it removes all the messages from the server after downloading them to the device. This means all of your email is probably on one of your devices at home and no longer on the server for webmail to access. It is important that you reconfigure your smart phone or other device to use IMAP rather than POP to avoid this problem in the future. IMAP leaves messages on the server so that they can be accessed from anywhere such as webmail.

My CDs Don't Play!
How do you play a music CD? It doesn't just start playing when the the disc is inserted. Thanks.

On a Mac:
OSX uses iTunes to play CDs.
Insert CD
If iTunes doesn't automatic load, you will need to launch program.
There maybe an iTunes icon on your dock (a CD w/a music note) - if not,
open your hard drive, then open the Application folder>look for the iTunes
CD icon and double click to open. If launching for the first time, you will
see a Welcome screen - then will need to complete a series of screens:
Click on NEXT
Choose No, do not modify internet settings and NO, ask me before connecting
Click on NEXT
Click on No, I will add them later myself.
Click on DONE
iTunes window appears - click on the Audio CD choice at left.
Tracks will appear - select desired track or will automatically start with
Track 1
Click on play triangle (above and at left of window).
Use the HELP menu for iTunes to learn more.

On a PC:
Windows uses Media Player to play CDs
If the CD doesn't automatically start playing after inserting the CD, run Windows Media Player... Then select the CD from the File menu to play it.

How Do I Clean My Laptop?
Cleaning your laptop might be a frightening prospect, but in reality it is pretty easy. Remember in general that anything wet or moist should be avoided around your laptop (or any computer, for that matter). Follow this advice:

* Clean the exterior case of your laptop by wiping it with a damp soft lint-free cloth.
* Clean the screen using either a dry or damp soft lint-freecloth. Do not press too hard on the screen, as that can cause damage to the LCD panel.
* Try to avoid using harsh chemical agents to clean your laptop, as these agents can cause some bad side effects. Also do not spray any cleaning agent directly onto any part of your laptop (again, fluids are bad).

I've Lost My Aliases!! (Mac OS only)
I was using the internet to find some research for our reports and now I can't find it on my desktop anywhere. Did I hide it somewhere and now I can't find it?

Most of us use what are called "aliases" to open our programs....icons either on the desktop, under the Apple Menu, or (if you are using OS X) on the Dock. When you click on an "alias" it finds the original program for you and opens it. If you accidentally delete an alias, it is pretty easy to create a new one! Open your hard drive and locate the original program; it might be in a folder named for it, or it might be in a folder called "applications". When you find the original program, just click one time on it (to turn it dark), and go to File at the top of your screen. You should see something called "Make Alias", and when you go to it, an alias will be created of your program. Just drag and drop the alias on your desktop, and you're back in business!

If you are using OS X, its even easier.....find the original program, and drag the program to your dock. An alias is automatically created for you, ready for use!