Computer Guide

Sorting programs in "Start" menu

by George Skarbek - 29th July 2008

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Sorting programs

Q: Is there a quick way of putting all the programs in the “Start” menu into alphabetical order? What is the difference between “Flash “& “Java”. Do I only need one on my computer or do I need to download both of them?

A: To sort the programs, right-click on any program in the list and select “Sort by Name” in the pop-up.

For the second question although they are both plug-ins for the browsers, there is a big difference between them and you need both. Java is a programming language and you need a Java run-time module on your computer. Flash is a form of a scripting language that is used more in animations and was developed by Macromedia. Active X is different again and is a Microsoft product that runs on IE.


Word 2007

Q: I have installed Word 2007 and like it very much. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out how to instigate Auto Text.  Can you help?

A: I am still coming to grips with Word 2007 as I know Word 2003 very well and I am still wasting a lot of time locating where my known features are hiding in Word 2007.

You can find the equivalent of AutoText under Insert, Quick Parts, Building Blocks Organizer. While Autocorrect, which I prefer, can found under Microsoft Office Button, Word Options and then Proofing.


I don’t want my password remembered

Q: My problem is that I have a Hotmail password for my emails but now I don't have to give my password. In the past I always used to have to use it to log on. Three of us use this computer so I really have to protect my email. My system is XP Professional. To log on I click on Internet Explorer and MSN comes on the screen. There are several options including Hotmail & messenger. If I click on Hotmail it comes up immediately without requiring my password. I am 72 and a technical retard, so please don't use too much IT jargon.

A: The password is being stored by your browser. Both Internet Explorer and Firefox have the ability to remember not only passwords but other information such as your e-mail address and other information that you may have entered into some forms such as your address if you have been ordering goods to be delivered to you. In some cases it can remember credit card details. Now this is good if you regularly visit sites and have to enter the same information again and again and your computer is totally secure.

However, storing important passwords is generally not a good idea. On occasions I use Gmail and have stored my Gmail password to allow quick access as I have no personal of important mail on that account and I do not use that password for other sites. I never store important passwords in the browser.

To clear all the Auto complete information open IE 7 and from Tools, Internet Options click on Browsing History and then on Delete … and then click on Delete Passwords. If you are worried by security you can also click on Form Data which stores data that you have entered such as your address etc. You can also Delete History that keeps track of all sites that you have visited.

In Firefox click on Tools, Clear Private Data … and you will have the same selection as in IE.


Backing up mail

Q: How can I back up emails? There are about 500 in the inbox and thousands in personal folders
I use XP on two laptops so can emails be copied to another computer if main computer fails? I am using Outlook.

A: In Outlook all the mail, contacts and calendar entries are stored in one large database call Outlook.pst. To save all the mail you have to locate and copy the PST file to a USB drive, CD / DVD at regular basis, depending how important mail is to you. I back up my mail daily. By default your mail will be stored at C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.

As for copying it to the other computer in case of failure, just copy the PST over the existing one on the other laptop. Be warned that this will destroy all your mail on the other laptop as copying will overwrite the existing file.


To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here