MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

Vol. 2006a

Welcome to this edition of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.   Second use a software firewall and/or a router if using broadband.   Last, obtain all the critical Windows updates.

Featured in This Issue
1.     Why won't my printer print?
2.     Problems with Wireless Keyboards and Mice
3.     Worldnews Network Site Map (website)

1.    Why won't my printer print?
Assuming that your printer was originally printing documents up to now...and now it doesn't.  Here's a short run-down of the possible culprits:

  • The printer's not on or it has a red/orange trouble light. If the printer has a cancel button try using it.  Sometimes turning the printer off and then back on again fixes things. (Also try restarting the computer; check the paper situation, or the cartridges.  Some of the newer printers won't print if a cartridge has a low ink condition.)
  • The printer queue may be jammed.  Click open the printer icon near the clock time in the bottom tray , click on the item you're trying to print and try to Cancel or Purge documents--in the Edit or File menu. (may take multiple tries)  Once cleared, try printing again.
  • You might have selected the wrong printer if you have more than one.  When the print box opens, check the listing in the top to see if you've got the printer you wanted.
  • If it's a network printer, make sure that the router is on and a port number is lit for its cable.  Try unplugging the router's power cable, wait 5 seconds, then plug it back in.
  • If all else fails, call MadMod Computing at 203 748-2960 or write Dave.

2.    Problems with Wireless Keyboards and Mice

Wireless keyboards and mice are great...but they have their foibles. Remember the mantra: "Cats eat mice and mice eat batteries!"

Usually keyboards take 2 AAA batteries and mice take 2 AA batteries. (Should be the other way around in my opinion, but they made them that way.)  Batteries should last for months, but sometimes the "default" batteries that come with these things are really cheap ones.  I recommend Duracell batteries only because I saw a demonstration by a student at a NY county science fair that showed that they lasted best among the 3 or 4 brands tested.

Now for the other issues.  Wireless keyboard and mice use 2-way radio signals to a radio unit plugged into a USB port on your computer.  The radio unit gets its power from the USB port.  The trick is to first press the little button on the radio unit which activates a radio channel selector that then looks for a keyboard and a mouse.  On the underside of the keyboard and mouse is also a button to synchronize with the radio unit.  Press each button once and that should get it communicating with the radio unit.  Each time you replace batteries, press the button to synchronize the mouse or keyboard with the radio unit.  That's all you should have to do.

3.    Worldnews Network Site Map (website)
Worldnews Network Site Map uses JavaScript in a powerful way to aggregate news that you want to read about.  News aggregators collect up all the relevant current news that is in the category you've selected.  The site map acts similarly to the folders column inside of Windows Explorer.  However, each item listed has a hyperlink to a site with specialized content. Click the + signs to open the folders.

Also try out searching using the search box. A search for Religion will turn up multiple photos and links to religious related material. Minimal advertising is also a plus for the Worldnews Network site.

Return to the MadMod Computing homepage.

E-mail to the editor: David Mawdsley

Copyright © 2006, The MadMod Computing Newsletter