July 30, 2002
Default web browsers

If you've just gotten a new computer, you may find that your default web browser is not the browser you want to use regularly (for example, it is currently Internet Explorer and you want Netscape). Or, maybe you'd like to change from Netscape 4.7 to Internet Explorer 6. To change, you can do the following:

--If you have an HTML file on your computer, right-click on it (click with the right mouse button) and choose "Open With"

--Select "Choose Program" and select Netscape (or Internet Explorer if you want to switch the default from Netscape to Internet Explorer). If you don't see "Netscape" (or Internet Explorer) in the list then select "Other" or "Browse" and find it under "Program Files", "Netscape", "Communicator", "Program". It will be "Netscape.exe". (you can find Internet Explorer under "Program Files", "Internet Explorer". It will be "IEXPLORE.EXE".

--When you select Netscape (or Internet Explorer), be sure the option "Always Use Selected Program..." is checked.

Additional information on changing default browsers can be found at: http://www.zdnet.com/products/stories/reviews/0,4161,915013,00.html

If your only reason for using Netscape instead of Internet Explorer is because you have lots and lots of bookmarks, check out yesterday's weblog entry: Oh Bookmarks, Where Art Thou?

Posted by dcoates at 11:31 AM
July 29, 2002
Oh Bookmarks, Where Art Thou?

As time marches on and computers are replaced by newer models, more and more of Extension's staff are converting to using Internet Explorer instead of Netscape. Internet Explorer is the de facto Internet standard, if for no other reason than that more computer users use IE than any other browser in existence. Most webpages are written with IE in mind, and because of this, IE is compatible with the widest range of webpages.

In fact, most of us on Extension's Hotline use it, and we are more than willing to help you along on the conversion process.

Many Netscape users are reluctant to convert to IE for one very good reason:
They'll lose all their bookmarks!

Fear no more! There is now a very simple way to import all of your Netscape bookmarks into Internet Explorer. The following explains how:

1) Open Internet Explorer
2) Go to File-->Import and Export. This will start the Import/Export wizard.
3) Click the 'Next' button. Make sure that "Import Favorites" is highlighted, and click 'Next' again.
4) If you have created your own profile in Netscape, choose that profile from the dropdown menu, and click 'Next'. If you haven't created a unique profile (or if you've never heard of a profile, for that matter), simply use "Netscape Navigator profile: default," and click 'Next'.
5) If you want to place your bookmarks in a special folder, choose that folder now. Otherwise, just click 'Next' and they will be put in the default folder (which we recommend).
6) Click 'Finish,' and you're done!

Things to Remember:
* Switching to IE is only an option, not a requirement. At this time, the Hotline supports both Netscape and IE.
* When you import your bookmarks into IE, they are NOT removed from Netscape. You will have your bookmarks in both places.
* If you add new bookmarks to Netscape, they are NOT automatically added to IE. However, if you re-import, they will show up.

Posted by at 04:02 PM
July 24, 2002
Office XP, Extras, Errors, and YOU.

We've had several calls recently about an error in Office XP on Windows 2000 machines. It seems that XP doesn't pre-install some of its extras, such as templates, page borders, and so on. When trying to install these niceties, XP is giving users an error, saying it couldn't find the files, and they couldn't be installed.

The solution:

1) Log in to your computer as administrator.
(Remember to change 'Log onto' from IASTATE to (this computer)
2) Run Word, Excel, or whatever program was giving you the error.
3) Use the page border, template, whatever. that gave you the original error. XP will now install it.
4) Log out of the computer as administrator, and log back in as yourself.

Whatever you were wanting to use will now be installed, and will work properly.

Posted by at 03:24 PM
Is your anti-virus software up to date?

Here's how you can check:

On the lower right-hand corner of your screen, you should see (among other icons) a V-Shield (a shield with a 'V' on it) and a magnifying glass. Right-click (click with the right mouse button) and select 'About' from the menu.

If the 'Created on' date is more than a week or two old, you need to update your virus scanner and set (or reset) an auto-update schedule.

If you don't see a V-shield or a magnifying glass icon you defintely need to reinstall your anti-virus software and make sure that it is running and updating regularly.

Detailed instructions can be found at:

Viruses and Anti-virus software on the
ISU Extension Information Technology web page.

Posted by dcoates at 08:28 AM
July 23, 2002
New Laptops and LCD projectors

To hook your new Dell Latitude laptop to an LCD projector, you will need to connect the projector cable to the monitor port on the back of your laptop. Use the Function (Fn) key and the key labelled CRT/LCD to toggle between the laptop screen and the projector screen.

If you've done this, waited for the projector to warm up, and checked your LCD projector manual to see if you've connected the cable to the correct port on the projector, you may need to change the resolution of the laptop (older LCD projectors can't read the higher resolution output of newer laptops).

To change the resolution:

--If available, check the projector documentation for the maximum resolution of the projector (usually listed under specifications in the form 800x600, 1280x1024, etc)
--On the laptop, right-click on the desktop (not on an icon)
--From the menu, select Properties
--Select the Settings tab
--Under Screen Area, move the gauge along the scale from 'More' to 'Less'
--Click 'Apply' and (remembering to toggle the CRT/LCD option) check to see if you have an image
--Continue to adjust the resolution until it works
--When you're finished with the presentation, repeat the steps (except this time move from 'Less' to 'More') above to return your laptop to its former resolution

NOTE: Reducing the resolution will affect the appearance of the laptop screen. Older projectors with very low resolution capabilities may simply not work well with newer computers.

Posted by dcoates at 04:41 PM
July 22, 2002
When You Call the Computer Support Line...

If you have to leave a message, be sure to give a phone number where you can be reached and a brief description of your problem. Knowing the problem beforehand lets the person returning your call to do some initial research, and may save multiple followup calls.

Information that's useful to have in hand when you call:

  • Type of computer
  • Operating system (Windows 95, 2000...)
  • Approximate age of the computer
  • Short description of your problem

The phone number for the EIT computer support line is 515/294-1725

Posted by dcoates at 03:52 PM