Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Making an Audio CD with Nero

Another question that I see very often.

Mostly, you and I don't bother with traditional systems but Aunt Maye (or Nellie or whatever) has an Audio CD system and your mp3 collection doesn't work on her system. You need to give her an audio CD that she can put into her CD drive to listen to the kewl music you saved from the Jurassic age.

Here's how you do it using NERO:

If you have Nero Startsmart:

Load it. C'mon, you know how to do that!

Hover your mouse pointer over the "music" symbol, like so:

The display will change to give you options to create various disks.

Move your Mouse pointer down and click on "Make Audio CD", you'll get the screen on your left. Just follow instructions and you'll have a CD that'll play in most systems (presuming you put a blank CD into the drive to start with).

If you don't have Nero Startsmart:

Start Nero.

You should get the following screen:

If you don't, it means that you haven't enabled the wizard. Go to Help --> Use the Nero Wizard. If the Wizard doesn't appear restart Nero.

Select "Compile a new CD" and hit the "Next" button. You'll get the following screen:

Click the "Audio CD" radio button and then hit "Next". The wizard will guide you in making the Audio CD.

Feel free to ask if any of the above is confusing or doesn't work.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Enabling Javascript

Okay this has had several people I know in a tizzy. They go to a site and it tells them that they need javascript. So they download Java, install it and try again and - nothing happens! The site still tells them they need javascript!

One thing you HAVE to understand is that Java and Javascript are different. It doesn't matter what the difference is. What's important is that if a site tells you that you need Javascript, well, you need to enable it in your browser. Downloading and installing Java won't help because that's not what the site is asking you to do at all.

The good news is that you don't need to download anything to enable Javascript. You do need to enable it in your browser, which means that you have to tell your browser that you want it to run the Javascript commands that are on the site. To do this:

If you are using Internet Explorer 5 or higher (if you're using XP Pro it'll either be IE6 or 7, so this will work):
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. On the Security tab, click Internet.
  4. Click Custom Level.
  5. Scroll down to Active scripting.
  6. Click Enable (or Prompt).
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click Yes.
  9. Click OK.
If you are using Firefox 1.xx:
  1. Open Firefox.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click Web Features in the Options list.
  4. Under the Web Features section, check the box next to Enable JavaScript.
  5. Click the Advanced button to open the Advanced JavaScript Options box.
  6. Check the boxes under Allow scripts to section that you want to allow.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK.
If you are using Firefox 2.xx:
  1. Open Firefox.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click on the Content icon.
  4. Check the box next to Enable JavaScript.
  5. Click OK.
If you're confused by the above or use a browser that's not covered, mosey along to Mr. Ed and you'll get a complete explanation with screenshots.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Quick System Restore with Windows XP

Windows is Windows and very often you may find your computer doing decidedly odd things at startup, like freezing or throwing unintelligible messages at you.

The best thing to do at such a time is a System Restore, which rolls back your system (your computer) to a state where it worked.

Unfortunately, Microsoft, in its wisdom, gives you a very complicated set of instructions on how to do this (if you actually do know how to use the "Help" feature, which will take an entire textbook to explain).

The irony is, Microsoft has actually coded a very simple way to do a System Restore. It's easy to use and easy to remember. Here's how to do it:
  1. Restart your computer
  2. When you see the memory check at the top left of your screen, repeatedly hit the F8 function key at the top of your keyboard (it's above and between the 9 and 0 keys at the top).
  3. You'll be presented with a text-only screen that has various options. Use the Up/Down arrow keys of your keyboard to highlight "Last Known Good Configuration" and hit enter.
  4. For some odd reason, you'll be asked which Operating System to use. Since most people use Windows XP, that'll be the only option shown and highlighted. Hit enter. If you're one of those experimentative (I made that word up) types who has more than one OS (Operating System) installed and Windows XP isn't the one highlighted, highlight it with the arrow keys and then hit enter
Sit back and see your computer come to life again.

There's a drawback to System Restore, of course. Any programs or software you install between the last known good configuration and the time the computer stopped working will disappear. Since it was probably one of those programs that caused the problem this is a good thing. If you think you absolutely MUST have those programs/software install them one at a time and reboot between each installation. If your computer behaves oddly after reboot do a System Restore and ditch the last piece of software installed (if you bought it, go back to the seller for a refund).