The Top Twenty

Category: Reference

Every night a friendly robot looks through the Ask Bob logs to see which articles were the most popular over the past week. Here are the current Top Twenty, ranked by readership volume. If you missed any of these, take a few minutes to read and comment!

Top 20


  1. New PC? Here are Five Things You MUST Do Now

    A brand-new computer is something to get excited about. It’s tempting to plug it in, start it up, and just begin exploring. But a new computer requires some initial fine-tuning in order to optimize performance and avoid problems later on. Here are five things you should do to a new desktop or laptop PC as soon as it comes out of the box...

  2. Here's How to Sanitize Your PC With PrivaZer

    PrivaZer is a computer clean-up utility on steroids. It gets rid of junk files and wipes away traces of activity that could compromise your privacy. Maybe you think that sounds like some other program you've been using, but trust me, PrivaZer does MUCH more. Read on to learn how it works, and why you should try it...

  3. Geekly Update - 13 November 2019

    Can you still upgrade your Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 for free? Is your antivirus software making it EASIER for hackers to gain access to your computer? And will quantum computers ruin everything? Get answers in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

  4. Is It Time to Replace Your Power Supply?

    A reader says: 'The fan inside my computer has started making an awful noise, and I'm afraid it's ready to bite the dust. Does that mean I need to replace the power supply?' The answer is MAYBE! Read on to find out if your power supply should be replaced...

  5. Here's How to Make Your Computer Indestructible

    According to Faronics, their Deep Freeze software can make your PC or Mac computer indestructible. It does this by 'freezing' your hard drive, so your computer's software and settings can be returned to a pristine state every time you start it up. Let's take a look at how Deep Freeze works, and find out if it's a good solution for you...

  6. Are You Sick and Tired of Windows?

    For millions of people still running Windows 7, a decision will need to be made this coming January, when Microsoft's support for that operating system ends. Moving to Windows 10 will mean learning something new, and may require updates to both hardware and software. One may as well consider other operating systems if there's going to be a learning curve anyway. Your options include Linux, Mac OS X, Android, Chrome OS, and others. Here are several alternatives to running Windows on your desktop, laptop or mobile device...

  7. Here's How to Monitor Your Data Usage

    The days of unlimited Internet use are drawing to a close for many people. As metered bandwidth billing, data caps, and exorbitant overage fees become more common, it behooves everyone who has such an Internet service plan to continually keep track of how many megabytes they’re using. Here's how to keep tabs on your data usage...

  8. HOWTO: Sell Your Phone (or Other Gadget)

    Mobile phones become obsolete almost as fast as the news these days. If you like to stay on the bleeding edge, you'll upgrade your tech gadgets at every opportunity. But what's the best way to get cash for your used phone or other electronics, without getting scammed? Here are several ways you can sell an unwanted mobile phone, tablet, computer or other gear...

  9. Doctor Bob's Tech Support House Call

    I received a call from a friend recently, who was seeing random freeze-ups, the dreaded 'Blue Screen' and some other problems on her computer. I decided to pop in and see what I could do. Come along for this tech support house call, and learn the tools and techniques I use to diagnose problems like these...

  10. Geekly Update - 06 November 2019

    Is there a hidden spy camera in your hotel or Airbnb rental? Will your next prescription be delivered from the drugstore via drone? Is your voice-activated gadget receiving secret laser signals? And where can you find free movies, sports, news and TV shows on your streaming device? Get answers in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

  11. What To Do if Your Phone is Lost or Stolen

    A concerned reader asks: 'Yesterday I lost my smartphone in a taxi cab, and have not been able to recover it. Before I get a new one, are there any tricks I can try to locate a lost or stolen phone? And for the future, what options do I have BEFORE a phone is lost, that will help me get it back?' Read on for my tips...

  12. Free Anti-Virus Programs

    I've been using the free Norton antivirus package that came with my computer, but the subscription will expire in a few days. Are the free anti-virus programs any good? What do you recommend?

  13. UPDATE: Free Antivirus Programs

    Readers often ask for my recommendations on antivirus protection. A common question goes something like this: “I got a trial version of Norton (or McAfee) antivirus with my computer, but the subscription expires in a few days. Should I pay, or switch to one of the free anti-virus programs? What do you recommend?” Read on for my updated list of the top FREE antivirus tools, and some tips on choosing free versus paid...

  14. Will VoIP Service Replace Your Landline?

    A reader asks: 'I have both a landline and a mobile phone, so I'm thinking of dropping the landline phone in favor of VoIP phone service, to save some money. What is your opinion of VoIP, and what are the pros and cons of using it to replace a traditional landline?' Read on for the scoop...

  15. More Dangerous Than Malware?

    Most experts writing about computer and Internet security focus on threats found 'out there' in the online sphere, or in the form of malicious hackers with malevolent intentions. The danger is that they will get to you or your computer, and steal or do damage. Most security measures focus on preventing such intrusions. But the greatest threat is not 'out there.' It's much closer than you think. Read on for the answer...

  16. Can a Virus Really Destroy a Hard Drive?

    Sometimes I hear from readers who say a virus 'destroyed' their hard drive and they had to buy a new one. But are there actually viruses that can physically damage a hard drive? Is it even possible for a virus to damage hardware, or is this an urban legend? Read on to find out the truth...

  17. Here's How to Get Free Satellite TV

    A reader asks: 'Can I get satellite TV for free? I have heard about free satellite TV channels one can receive with a free-to-air satellite receiver and dish. Is this true? If so, what satellite channels can I get, what equipment do I need, and is it legal?' The short answer is YES, you can. Read on to learn about free satellite TV options...

  18. Does My Email or IP Address Expose my Physical Location?

    A reader asks: 'Can someone determine a user's identity (name, home address, etc.) simply by having their email or IP address? I'm asking because I posted to an online forum, and both my email and IP address were displayed publicly. Does that give others the ability to find my actual geographic location? Can I be tracked down in any way?' Read on to learn the answer to this common question...

  19. Replace Your Paid Software with Free Alternatives

    My software strategy for several years has been to move away from commercial (paid) programs to free alternatives, preferably open source or web-based. I'll share my reasons for doing this, and some free software options that you can explore. Read on!

  20. Geekly Update - 30 October 2019

    Fifty years ago yesterday, ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet, went live. As UCLA grad student Charley Kline began typing LOGIN, the system crashed after just two letters. An hour later, the problem was resolved, and Kline was able to complete the connection from the UCLA mainframe to another computer at Stanford Research Institute. And LO, the Internet was born! Continue reading this special issue of the Geekly Update to learn more about the origins of the Internet, how it works, and where it's all headed. And of course, this issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!



 
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This article was posted by on 4 Mar 2009


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The Top Twenty
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My New Phone is an iPod Touch

Most recent comments on "The Top Twenty"

(See all 71 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Jessie
04 May 2014

Hi Bob, I am struggling with a slow computer and this is my only computer in my home business. Could you please suggest a reliable software that I could purchase and that will not damage my computer? Thanks,

I used US Tech support and I believe they made my computer even slower. Thanks

EDITOR'S NOTE: You might have been scammed. I recommend a System Restore. See http://askbobrankin.com/system_restore_for_windows_7.html

Next step, see:
http://askbobrankin.com/speed_up_windows_7.html


Posted by:

steve
15 Jul 2014

I recently purchased a net gear mp101 digital music player to hook up to my home stereo.after finally getting it to find server and for it to show me music file library, I was all set,only to be let down as nothing flowed through my Harmon lardons .the unit is running through Ethernet, firewall is OK,book really doesn't give troubleshoot. Anybody run into this ? Or any answers! Gave up after about 2-3 hours..should be simple,but!!!! Thanks Steve


Posted by:

Gill Kelly
17 Oct 2014

sending you this on my partners PC as I just cannot get into my Hotmail account, my user name is accepted but my password keeps being rejected as'invalid'despite changing it several times via Microsoft. What am I doing wrong?

EDITOR'S NOTE: What email program do you use? Hotmail web version or a desktop client?


Posted by:

Ray
30 Dec 2014

Smart Phone 15 digit Number pulse date cell was sold IMEI 15 digit Number showed up after I dialed *#06# on our Mobile's.
in case ours are stolen we mail the 15 digit IMEI number to cop@vsnl.net You will find where your Mobile is being operated, even if they changed the number.It didn't work on android Mobile phone. I haven't Used it yet and was wondering will it Work or is it a scam??

EDITOR'S NOTE: See http://www.hoaxorfact.com/Technology/if-you-lose-your-mobile.html


Posted by:

Ernie Brunton
07 Jan 2016

You are recommending LD for ink cartridges. On the comments section first page there a10 replies. Five are OK but 5 are negative, which is only 50-50. The negative ones nearly all complain about the LD cartridges clog the printer head. I may have had this problem with my existing printer and had to replace it. I was using non Epson cartridges Have you had this problem ?????
On price. The cartridges are shipped free in the US, but in Canada they charge $26.50 which is half the purchase price. One has to add on exchange of 40% and that makes a purchase of $52.57 come to a total of $110.69. Which is quite high
I look forward to an answer

I enjoy you articles very much

Ernie Brunton


Posted by:

Yvonne Mathis
08 Mar 2016

I need help, Linskeys is trying to hi jack my router cannot remove it from computer, can you help?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I did a Google search for "Linskeys" but came up empty. Can you provide more details? What do you mean by hijacking your router? What specific symptoms are you seeing?


Posted by:

Harold
27 Mar 2016

I'm sure you've covered this before. Just cant find it. When trying to watch educational videos on youtube Windows 10 won't let me. It gives me a message to re-start my computer (which works for 1 video). Is there any fix for this?

2nd problem: When loading pics I get a message in the lower right corner that says tap here to indicate what to do with the original device. You can do whatever you want. It doesn't work and it won't go away. It looks like it's too far to the right to see the X. Changing screen resolution doesn't help. Can you help.


Posted by:

Sandy Lumsden
01 Apr 2016

why oh why does windows behave the way it does, I seriously considered using a Linux operating System but Microsoft even make that difficult, so I will continue using windows 10 until I can afford an Apple Mac.One thing I am sure of I will not be using Windows for ever,for I am fed-up with programs not working.


Posted by:

Yvonne Mathis
02 Apr 2016

Wrote once before and since I am not computer savy, I was saying Linksys was tryin to hi jack router. Now A friend says modem, Linksys has removed my isp and entered their own code and now are controlling my computer,has removed my security which is Norton, who by the way cleaned my computer and said all was good, after that, noticed the Icon disappeeared and then reappeared, but is not functioning, I am redirected to sites other than the one I try to get to. I am elder female, other than a pricey computer service, can you help?


Posted by:

John
11 Apr 2016

I need virus clen my drive


Posted by:

Peggy
04 Jun 2016

Greetings
My internet speed is slow and if I have my grandchildren streaming a movie, it constantly buffering and my PC too.
I have a dual web-band and a range extender 3 yrs. old and Verizon router is over 5 yrs. old
Base on your expertise, what step should I take.
Greatly appreciate your help


Posted by:

Calvin
06 Jun 2016

can you go back and read articles further back than the last 20, if so how?


Posted by:

Ken Fisher
21 Jul 2016

Upgraded my Win 7.1 Dell computer to Win 10 last December. Two weeks ago, it downgraded itself by dropping the Start Button and screen, the info button on the left and Cortana. It has not corrected with updates. Pressing the Start produces a critical error and a restart.


Posted by:

Pay
08 Aug 2016

Bob, My Microsoft Publisher software gas disappeared from my computer sometime since I downloaded Windows 10.

Also, the names of my directories have been eliminated. I used to have one called Pat and Ray Computer and it no longer exists. There were two directories called mydocuments, one inside the other directory that I can no longer find.

I did a backup of 7 before I installed 10 (thanks for you publication!) HELP!!!


Posted by:

Jd hackhowsar
15 Jun 2017

Hi Mr Bob

We have 600 plus pages for years as a tech support user club for European industrial machines at eeuc98.net in html now https posted.

After the https all picture links quit working.

Also with google nobody can find us any more. Since the page content applies often to the same subject, the keywords are the same.

Reading googles requirements it would be a lot of volunteer work to vamp it all up.
We started in the 80s out with DOS 6 based Clarks bulletin boaerd sw.

Having a good site content search function is imporatant.
We used since the 80s macromedia robohelp and dreamweaver sw, now all Acrobat.

Thanks for your wisdom.
Lots of virtual hugs.

Johann


Posted by:

Mr.Pic
29 Jun 2017

In using Outlook 2003 I need to know how to increase text size as now the inbox shows about 31 one line emails info, I would like about 15 with larger more readable text. The new Dell computer has Windows 10 and I have just started using it. Appreciate any help provided.


Posted by:

Alexander Harkes
25 Sep 2017

When using my printer and trying to send a copy of a photo or send a email it says i do not have a connection and everything is working ok. the mail recipient will not work also how can i change the mail recipient from fax recipient.


Posted by:

stanley westell
23 Jun 2018

I wondered if you had a topic regarding India's people constant attack upon the US?
I recently have been receiving all kinds of so-called free gift cards $1000 gift card Walmart, Nike gift cards, I recently have received several different grant scams from India and they even tried to use US sounding names and received a phone call claiming it was the IRS preparing to open a file if I didn't call them then there is a computer tech support company that claims they are Microsoft and tell you your personal information that risk and if you don't call them they'll stop your computer from working there are several of those I will admit being on Social Security disability that I was extremely hopeful and I had filed for grants and unfortunately before I caught on. Already swindled me out of $200 their goal was to swindle me out of $1000 so knowing that the IRS never calls they only send mail and I started asking the questions will qualify me for these grants where did you get this information clearly they are attaching themselves or spying on websites or setting up these free card giveaways to get information I was just wondering if you had set up a page on warning the elderly which is clearly their target I think the most important thing is think first asked questions on how you qualified how they got the information and so forth and before you know it they hang up the one thing I have seen is that their phone calls are being rerouted through the US and there clearly well-versed insome of the information needed regarding grants the address of the grant building in Washington DC and basic info for their scam I saved many of the phone numbers and names used but you know they're all fake or they're using untraceable SIMM cards well I was just wondering if you had a page that would help protect people against India's ongoing attack upon the US? you need not reply it was just a suggestion or if you have created this page thank you.


Posted by:

Andy Baldwin
21 Sep 2019

Dear Bob,

I am a technical IDIOT!

But, somehow this ADD brain of mine can understand what you have to say. Can you help me understand what this particular tool does?

Also, can you tell me if you cover computer issues pretty much from A to Z? If so do you cover different kinds of email like Reagan.com?

I ask because I got hacked with 'free' email and there are things I can't seem to understand sometimes with private email.

I simply want to thank you for being there helping very low tech guys like me!

Warmest Regards,

Andy Baldwin


Posted by:

Bonnie R
02 Oct 2019

The links in my emails on my phone will not open


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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Top Twenty (Posted: 4 Mar 2009)
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