Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Articles about radios, mp3 players, televisions, and other gadgets and appliances for the home that aren't necessarily directly computer related.

Can I read Open Office documents on my Android?

There are applications available for Android in the Google play store that will allow you to use Microsoft docs. You may need to save them properly on your computer.

Can I safely use my smart phone for banking?

A smartphone will be more secure than an open Wi-Fi spot if you know how to use it safely.

Do I need a firewall for my Android device?

Android firewalls are still not necessary. Both because of the way the device interacts with the outside, and the (still slight) prevalence of targeted malware.

Do I need to run anti-malware software on my smartphone?

Sophisticated viruses for smart phones are certainly predicted for the future. Do you need to worry about it yet?

Do I need updated drivers for my camera that stopped working after installing Windows 7?

This sounds like a driver problem. Pre-installed Windows comes with drivers for all the equipment on your machine; an upgrade often may not.

Do tablets need anti-malware software?

Anti-malware software for tablets is not needed... yet. We may see a rise in necessity in the coming months and years.

Does getting a BluRay drive for my computer require a hardware upgrade?

A new BluRay player should just work although hardware may need to be upgraded depending on video and CPU requirements.

Does my Android phone need a firewall, and is tethering safe?

Hackers will be targeting phone software more and more as time goes on, I look at a few issues related to tethering and firewalls on phones.

How can I connect an external keyboard to my smartphone?

USB keyboards on a smartphone likely won't work. Just because you've got a USB socket doesn't mean it will support every kind of device. Same is actually true for Bluetooth.

How can I recover deleted pictures from my digital camera if it doesn't show as a drive?

If the camera does not present itself as a drive, it will be difficult to recover data. I look at a few options.

How do I copy photos from my phone to my PC?

Copying photos from your phone to your PC is simple with a few readily available tools.

How do I get a driver that Windows says is missing for my camera?

A missing driver for a camera can very often be found on the website of the company that manufactured the product.

How do I get pictures from my camera if its software doesn't work on my computer?

Digital cameras are often accompanied with software that you are encouraged to install first. Often it's not required; I'll show you the alternative.

How do I get this downloaded .avi file to play on my DVD player?

You won't be able to play an .avi file directly in a DVD player. Look for DVD creation software that allows the disc to be burnt properly for DVD player formats.

How do I get this video camera to work with Windows?

Getting a video camera to work in Windows requires the correct drivers. You'll run into problems if they are not available.

How does my phone know my YouTube subscriptions if I've never logged into it there?

There's nothing clandestine or hidden behind the scenes. It's simply the case that your YouTube account and your Google account are the same thing.

How secure is my smartphone?

Smartphones, like iPhones and Android-based phones, are really just small computers, and with small computers comes a not-so-small risk.

I hear TV and Radio are converting to all digital. How will that affect me?

Digital TV is mandated to be deployed in the US within the next two years. Depending on how you get your signal, you may or may not be affected.

Is installing apps on my mobile device becoming riskier?

Smartphone applications are not yet a huge threat as long as you take a few security precautions.

My ISP's equipment is beeping and indicates a battery replacement is needed. What do I do?

Very often, when equipment is signaling for a battery change... it needs a new battery!

My trip pictures vanished from my memory card. How can I recover them?

Even when traveling (or especially when traveling!), backing up is still important. A backup strategy would have saved these vacation photos.

What do these options mean when I connect my phone to my computer?

When connecting your smartphone to your PC, you may be given a choice of several options. I'll review what those options mean.

What does it mean to tether a phone?

Connecting to the internet with your cell phone can be done in several ways, depending on what is allowed by your cell phone company.

Why can my Sony camera not display jpg files created by a Nikon?

A camera is not engineered as a display device, so you may need a different method of displaying your photos.

Why can't I copy this large video from my camera to my PC?

Copying a large video from a camera should just work - unless there is not enough room, or errors, on your hard drive.

Why can't I format the memory in my camera to empty it?

Troubles emptying a camera memory card could be because the write-protect tab is toggled, or maybe it's time for a replacement.

Why do some Android apps need so many permissions?

Android app sometimes legitimately need services from your phone. But it's always good to use some caution in giving out permissions.

Why do some smartphone photos come out upside down?

When we use a phone to take a picture, often there is no obvious right side up, especially if you're holding it sideways in landscape mode.

Why does my camera battery die so quickly?

Batteries that do not hold a charge make a camera unusable. Several options may help solve the problem.