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. Should You X-Ray Your Computer?

    Do you know what's going on inside your PC? Most people don’t, and most of the time they don’t need to know. But there are occasions when a detailed inventory of a computer’s components comes in handy. Read on to learn some surprising reasons why you SHOULD know what's under the hood of your computer, even if you're NOT a techie. And also, some software tools that will let you “x-ray” your PC, so you can see what's inside without touching a screwdriver. Read on...

  2. How Many Windows Keyboard Shortcuts Have You Tried?

    Windows 10 and 11 keyboard shortcuts can save time, wrist motions, and for some people, carpal tunnel pain. Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys (or a key and a mouse button) that, when pressed simultaneously, perform a task that would normally require moving the mouse around, clicking, and possibly navigating sub-menus. There's even a useful super-secret keystroke that very few people know! Here are some keyboard shortcuts you should know, and try for yourself...

  3. Here's How to Optimize Your Hard Drive

    When things go wrong with your computer, the source of the problem is often in the hard drive. One of the best things you can do to prevent computer problems and improve performance is to keep your hard drive in tip-top shape. Here are some of the most important tasks for hard drive optimization, plus some nifty (and free) software utilities that make getting them done a breeze...

  4. [ALERT] Freeze Your Credit Files (all SIX of them)

    Frequent and massive data breaches that reveal personal information on millions of consumers make it much easier for crooks to engage in identity theft. As individuals, we have little or no control over over data breaches, and what criminals do with that information. Even worse, the credit reporting agencies tasked with protecting our confidential information seem to think privacy is a joke. But we do have one important tool to defend ourselves. Today you'll learn how credit freezes work, and how they are different than 'fraud alerts' or 'credit locks'. Oh, and should you freeze ALL SIX of your credit files now? Wait... six? Yes, read on!

  5. 12 Computer Facts That Are Not True

    Did you know? At midnight on March 31st, the Internet will be temporarily shut down for the annual Spring Cyber Cleaning? Read on to get the scoop on this, Abraham Lincoln's opinion on fake news, and other dubious “facts” about computers and the Internet...

  6. AskBob's Best of 2022 - Part One

    I want express my sincere THANKS to YOU and the 130,198 others who have subscribed to the AskBob newsletter since 2005. This year I celebrated the 17th anniversary of this newsletter, and there are over 3000 articles here now. Many of you are regular readers and contribute comments, which I love. And since I love numbers almost as much as words, I asked my robot to scan the server logs to find the most popular articles of the year. Here are ten of the top articles for you to review. I hope you'll check out each one, leave your own comments, forward this to a friend, and tell them to sign up for more AskBob in 2023!

  7. Here's How to Speed Up Your Internet Connection

    An AskBob reader asked me for tips to speed up his Internet connection. Unless you enjoy watching paint dry, a slow internet connection can be very frustrating, especially when you're trying to stream a movie, play an online game, or just browse the web. Sometimes the slowdown is beyond your control; the Internet is subject to traffic jams and congestion, just like any other highway. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to speed up your internet connection. Here's a bucket of tips and tools that can help you go faster on the information highway...

  8. Have You Made These Identity Theft Mistakes?

    Identity fraud affected over 27 million U.S. consumers in 2021, with losses over $28 billion. Spikes have been noted in 'new account fraud' and 'account takeover fraud' -- two of the most damaging types of ID theft. In addition, more than 1400 data breaches at major corporations had consumers vulnerable to phishing and other forms of fraud. I haven’t found stats for 2022 yet, but we can assume they’re equally dismal. Read on for my tips on avoiding fraud and identity theft, and see if you've made any mistakes that can make it easier for scammers to victimize you...

  9. Virus Alert: Real or Rogue?

    A worried AskBob reader says: “Do I have a computer virus? My computer will sometimes stop and it says I have a virus, and I must call a number on the screen. Then supposedly they will walk me through the process to fix it. Is this true? I have antivirus installed but still, it pops up now and then.” Here's my diagnosis...

  10. AskBob's Best of 2022 - Part Two

    Did you see Part One of my “Best of 2022” series? Today, I've got another group of ten very popular AskBob articles for you. These have been selected using semi-sentient AI software that I 'borrowed' from a secret underground laboratory, and with help from injectable nanobots, excerpts from high-profile data breaches, and a guy named Vinny, who knows a guy who lives near the police station in a major metropolitan area. I might possibly have used the AskBob server stats as well. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, and share them with your Email, Facebook and other online friends.

  11. Your CD and DVD Discs May Fail Sooner Than You Think

    If your precious memories or important files are backed up on CD, DVD or Blu-Ray discs, you might want to go looking for a medium that will protect your documents, photos and videos a bit better. Would you be surprised to learn that a U.S. government study concluded that standard optical discs have an expected lifespan of just 3 to 5 years? Would you like to learn about a data storage solution that promises 100, or even 1000 years? Read on...

  12. Creating an RSS feed

    RSS stands for Rich Site Summary (or Really Simple Syndication), and it is one of the most effective ways to promote the content that you add to your Web site. Basically, an RSS feed sends brief summaries of newly posted content to people who subscribe to the feed, providing a link in each summary to the full content on your site. Here's how to create an RSS feed...

  13. Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car?

    Do you know the best time of year to shop for a new or used car? And how is the global chip shortage affecting auto prices and inventory? Today I have some some tips for online auto buying that will help you save money and get the car you want. You may not even have to set foot in a dealer showroom. Read on...

  14. How Good is Your Cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems from unauthorized access, theft, damage, or disruption. Some examples of cyber threats are viruses, malware, phishing attacks, hacking, ransomware, data breaches, identity theft, and denial-of-service attacks. Read on to learn which ones are most likely to affect YOU, and best practices for defending your digital castle...

  15. Review: PC Matic Gets a Zero!

    After years of hearing from AskBob readers about PC Matic, I finally decided it was time to give the popular antivirus and PC optimizer software a test drive. So 18 months ago, I did just that, and published my PC Matic review. At the time, I was impressed enough to ditch my current security software, and entrust my home and office computers to PC Matic. A year and a half later, I'm giving PC Matic a ZERO. But wait... that's actually a GOOD thing! Read on for my updated review and recommendation...

  16. Sending a Mass Email? (read this first)

    An AskBob reader says: 'I need to send occasional email updates to a large group of people. But I've heard that if you do it wrong, you'll get flagged as a spammer, or your emails may never get delivered. What software or services do you recommend to safely and reliably send emails to a list of people?' Read on for some good mass email options, and a few you definitely want to avoid...

  17. [PRIVACY] What's in YOUR Digital Dossier?

    Thanks to the Internet and online search tools, it’s easy for ordinary people to collect copious quantities of information about nearly any person, place or topic. That is indisputably a good thing. However, when it comes to the multi-billion-dollar business of collecting and selling data about other people, that use of the Internet can take a sinister turn. Read on for the scoop on data brokers, how they operate, and what they may know about you...

  18. Yes, You Can Get Free Satellite TV

    An AskBob reader asks: “Can I really get satellite TV for free? I've 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...

  19. Yes, Virginia, There is a Whitelist

    “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” is a line from a famous editorial published in 1897. The writer opined that Santa Claus existed “as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist,” and that “the most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.” You might not believe in Santa Claus, but malware is a veritable menace (even though invisible to the eye) to which you must take heed. In today's article, I'll explain how a whitelist can protect you much better than the old-school security software you're probably using now. It's something to do with Naughty and Nice. Read on...

  20. Here’s What Google Knows About You (and how you can delete it)

    Google provides a boatload of useful services: search, email, cloud storage, productivity tools, and much more. Most of them are free for personal use, and not very expensive for businesses and other organizations. But in the online world, 'free stuff' often comes with a price. Read on and learn what's in your Google history, how to limit what information is collected, and how to delete the rest…

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This article was posted by on 4 Mar 2009

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The Top Twenty
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Most recent comments on "The Top Twenty"

(See all 78 comments for this article.)

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.

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

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

Posted by:

Daniel Swist
26 Nov 2019

I got hacked about a month ago. Changed password, etc. But now all my incoming email(YAHOO) goes to my "Archive" folder and has to be manually transferred to my INBOX. Called ATT several times , but the idiot agents (in India) can't help me. I tried to call ATT in the US, but never got connected. Someone on a blog told me to go to Settings- Filters and remove filters/ add filters. But that doesn't work. Any suggestions?

Posted by:

17 Apr 2020

very very GOOD Bob and thanks for all those great possibilities

Posted by:

Phil Biggins
23 Apr 2020

How to fix printing problems for windows 10 ,only wants to save an not print.

Posted by:

25 Apr 2020

Your top 20 is great, Thanks

Posted by:

Edward E.Weeter
21 Jul 2020

I have been a reader for many years, but due to long-term health issues, my reading time and comprehension have slipped. Now my wife wants a divorce and most of my investment profits I am 74, a Type 1 Diabetic for 60+ years with many other health issues!. She is 71 and in her second round of cancer. We have I married daughter who caters mainly to her wishes and live about 5+ hours from us. My problems utherwise are my AOL.COM account (blocked for over 9 months. Any idea who in gov’t I can contact? Thanks for everything! She has blocked my use of many things also!pp

Posted by:

WJ Stewart
15 Dec 2021

How can I make my 2 year old laptop faster? I have to wait almost 10 minutes for it to start up so I can use it

Posted by:

WD Nelson
30 Mar 2022

I signed up for IDrive last week!! Only 5TB Can I still get the discount you are offering?

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