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. [HOWTO] Run a Deep Scan for Malware

    A reader asks: 'My anti-virus software offers me an option to run a quick scan or a full scan. I've always run the quick scan, because that's the recommended setting. What does a full scan do, and how would I know if I need to do one?' Read on to learn about deep scanning, to check every nook and cranny of your computer for malware...

  2. Square Cash Goes Paypal In Reverse

    It has been quite a while since the money-transfer service, Square Cash, did anything really exciting. It just worked, perfectly, for quick and easy person-to-person cash payments. But there are some new developments you should know about. Read on for the scoop on what's new with Square Cash, and how it stacks up with Paypal...

  3. Geekly Update - 15 March 2018

    Is your car stealing personal and private information from your smartphone? Are Geek Squad technicians digging into your personal files when you bring your computer in for repairs? And under what circumstances would it be a cardinal sin to tweet your baby sister? 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. [HELP] Windows 10 Can't Install Important Updates

    A reader named Louise wrote to me saying her Windows 10 installation was not updating properly. 'Every day my computer tries to install a Windows 10 update, and it fails every time, with an error 0X80248007. Any suggestions that will help me?' Yes, read on for the solution...

  5. Free Online Radio Services You'll Love

    Web based radio allows you to listen to online radio stations on your computer or on a mobile device. But of course, the Internet is much cooler than a radio, so Internet radio lets you do all kinds of things you can't do with regular AM, FM or satellite radio broadcasts. Here's the scoop on tuning in to Internet radio...

  6. The Lowest Price for Windows 10?

    Recently, I checked up on the two methods for getting Windows 10 for free that I described in a February 2017 article. Today, 13 months later, both methods are obsolete. So the next best thing, if you want to buy Windows 10, would be how to get the best price. Read on for the answer, and my warning about some sticky situations regarding the Windows 10 license key scam…

  7. Geekly Update - 21 March 2018

    Is winning the lottery just a matter of luck and chance, or do math geeks have an edge? Rolling stones gather no moss, but could reversing that old adage hold the key to improved tire life? Can you name the top three most popular websites? And why have most people never heard of the fourth most popular site on the Web? 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!

  8. The Big Lie Most Hardware Makers Tell You

    If you try to fix, upgrade (or even dare to look inside) your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other gadgets, does that act void the warranty? Read on to learn the truth about “warranty void if sticker removed” and other dire warnings you may see on the things you own...

  9. The Internet: How Does it Work?

    We all take the Internet for granted, using it as naturally as we use electricity or city water. But when you peek under the hood to see what’s really going on out there “on the Web” or “in the cloud” you’ll find an elegantly simple yet infinitely complex system. Read on for a layman's explanation of how it all works...

  10. 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...

  11. Securely Erasing Your Hard Drive

    I have written several articles over the years about the importance of completely erasing personal data from hard drives before disposing of them. Savvy users understand that deleting a file doesn't really make it go away. And even formatting a hard drive doesn't guarantee that your files are unreadable. But here's some good news on that front...

  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. HOWTO: Connect Your PC to TV, Wirelessly!

    Wouldn't it be great to beam whatever is on your computer screen directly to your big-screen TV? Now you can wirelessly send Netflix, Hulu, YouTube videos, photos and computer games from your PC screen directly to your television screen. Even browse the web on your fancy big-screen HDTV. Here's how to make a wireless PC to TV connection...

  14. [UPDATE] Free Cloud Storage Services

    When I first wrote about “free cloud storage services” way back in January, 2014, there were a lot from which to choose. But as the industry has consolidated and people have become more dependent upon cloud storage, the number of cloud storage providers offering free space has shrunk. Read on to learn who still offers free cloud storage for your files...

  15. Is Satellite Internet a Good Choice?

    If you live in a rural area, your Internet access options are limited. DSL and cable internet service are not available in many thinly-populated areas. Forget about 4G and even 3G cellular access. For many rural residents, Internet access boils down to a choice between miserably slow dial-up and satellite Internet access. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of satellite internet service...

  16. HOWTO: Get Free Satellite TV

    A reader asks: 'I have heard about free satellite TV channels you can receive if you have 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?' Read on to learn about free satellite TV options...

  17. [TAX PREP] Free Tax Filing Options

    The good news is: about 70% of U.S. taxpayers can get free online tax preparation and e-filing this year. The bad news is: you have to pick your online tax service very carefully. Here's what you need to know...

  18. Boost Your WiFi Signal: Ten Tips and Tricks

    A reader asks: 'How can I boost my wifi signal? I finally got high-speed internet with a wireless router, but the wifi signal is weak in some parts of the house. What tweaks or gadgets do you recommend to boost wireless signal strength and distance?'

  19. [HOWTO] Convert Vinyl Records to CD or MP3

    For seasoned audio purists, nothing compares to good old-fashioned analog recordings on vinyl LP records. But those old records are fragile... here's a step-by-step guide to help you convert vinyl to CD disc or MP3 files so you can enjoy them for years to come...

  20. Geekly Update - 08 March 2018

    Can you teach a classroom of kids how to use Microsoft Word, using only a chalkboard? What should you do if your Amazon Echo is bursting into laughter at inappropriate moments? And is the government using implanted microchips to track, control and torment ordinary citizens? 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!

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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 68 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Lin Aung
01 Jan 2014

Thank you, for messing those letter. I was read some. I am not full for English language.

Posted by:

02 Apr 2014

Hi Bob:
Forgot to include this in my comment about the billions of dollars corporations are expected to spend. This is what was on the IE site that popped up:

Posted by:

18 Apr 2014

I want to thank you for all of your varied articles. I found multiple programs or utilities trying to do the same thing, and the new Mcafee Total Protection was too complex and complicated for this 71-year old. Thanks to your articles and Avast I no longer want to put a bullet in my computer. Please, please keep up the great work.

Posted by:

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

Next step, see:

Posted by:

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:

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 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??


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:

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:

11 Apr 2016

I need virus clen my drive

Posted by:

04 Jun 2016

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:

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:

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 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.


Posted by:

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.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Top Twenty (Posted: 4 Mar 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved