PC Doctor May 5, 2010

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

Dear PC Doctor:

            I don’t understand the terms download and upload that people use.  As you can imagine I don’t use computers very much but I hear people talking about that all the time.  Thanks for helping out this new user.


Dear Nicki:

            Downloading simply means to transfer or retrieve data or files from a central or remote server to a local computer.  An example might be if you were on the Internet at the iTunes website and decided to purchase an album.  You would then ‘download’ or move that album via the Internet onto your computer.  Not all downloads cost money, many are free.

            Uploading is just the opposite.  You are moving data or files from a local computer or system to a remote system or server.  Sending a copy of your school paper to the school website for a teacher to read would be an example of this.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor:

            What is SteadyState?  Someone told me that they have installed this on their work computers and I’m just curious what it’s for?


Dear Donald:

            It’s actually a free piece of software from Microsoft (go to www.microsoft.com/windowsand type ‘steadystate’ into the search box to download) that is often used in office or public environments to keep users from accidentally or maliciously causing damage.

  Once downloaded, install it following the directions and open it up from Start, All Programs.  Under Global Computer Settings there are any number of options to customize your own particular computer or computers to get the best fit for your situation.  You can ‘set computer restrictions’, ‘schedule software updates’ or ‘protect the hard drive’.   Poke around and see which options you’d like. 

            I would, however, like to caution you about ‘protect the hard disk’ because if this is turned on you can do whatever you want, but once you restart the computer it will revert to the original state keeping no changes.  This is a very important feature to the library computers where we don’t want people changing or saving things to the hard drive.  For a home user however, you may want to save files and such so be very careful about turning this on.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor:

            One of the keys on my keyboard popped off and I managed to step on it and break it.  Is there anything I can do now?


Dear Alice:

            A couple of things you can try.  Contact the manufacturer of your keyboard (just Google their name and find the ‘contact us’ link) and see if they sell individual keys.  Another thing is to see if you or someone you know has an old keyboard, you can pry the key you need off and replace it on yours.  Finally a new keyboard can be fairly inexpensive so you might just head to Wal-Mart, Staples or your local computer store and pick up a new one.

            PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!