How To posts by Nerds On Call

    Learn how to do just about anything with your computer! Our Nerds write how-tos on just about every tech topic you can think of. Whether you need to remove malware, upgrade your computer, or find a way to distract your kids from the Internet during the summer, you can find how to do it here. We regularly write new articles on the best techniques, so check back often. You might not even have to – you’ll just be searching for how to do something and end up here. We hope you find what you’re looking for, and if you don’t, just chat with us and ask!

    "How To" posts:

  • Replace Windows XP for Cheap
    Replace Windows XP for Cheap

    Microsoft’s support for Windows XP has officially ended.  Those systems still running XP are vulnerable to hackers accessing data or being turned into a bot-net to spread viruses and malware.  Maintaining an up-to-date anti-virus software isn’t enough to keep a system running XP secure.  It’s time to ditch XP once and for all.  Luckily, there […]

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  • Replace Phone Carriers with Apps
    Replace Phone Carriers with Apps

    When Facebook shelled out $16 billion for mobile messaging app WhatsApp in February, it had many Americans scratching their heads. “A texting app? Isn’t that what I use my cell plan for?” Web-based messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Google Voice, Skype and Facebook Messenger are used by a vast majority of texters worldwide, while those […]

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  • De-Clutter Your Email Inbox
    De-Clutter Your Email Inbox

    Once upon a time, you opened your email inbox and it was – gasp – empty! I can hear you chuckling, “that is definitely a fairytale.” If you have hundreds of messages in your inbox, it is difficult to believe that your email could ever be anything other than overwhelming. But it can be. Here’s […]

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  • Track Christmas Gifts Online
    Track Christmas Gifts Online

    Instead of my usual December dash to check everyone off my holiday shopping list, this year I accumulated gifts throughout the year. When I saw something perfect for my mom I grabbed it and tucked it away to wrap later. While I was feeling proud of myself for not procrastinating, I discovered an unfortunate side […]

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  • Use Christmas Wishlists
    Use Christmas Wishlists

    Every year, our Christmas gift giving goes something like this. My sister sends out an email to a small handful of family members with a list of all the things her family wants. Then I send out a similar list, to a different handful of people regarding our family. Mom does the same. You already […]

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  • Avoid Online Scams

    As the holiday shopping season gains momentum, those looking to swindle online shoppers get creative in their attempts to lure victims. I consulted with Scambook (www.scambook.com), an online complaint resolution website, about the top scams from last holiday season – they’re likely to appear again either in the same form or with slight variations – […]

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  • Spot Fake Online Reviews

    Online reviews can be a great tool to help find a hotel for your next trip, a reputable handy man or the best coffeemaker around. On our last trip to San Francisco, we ate our way from one delicious restaurant to the next, all with the assistance of kindly Yelp reviewers. Unfortunately, there are some […]

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  • Which Browser is Best?
    Which Browser is Best?

    Pop quiz: what browser do you use to access the Internet? If you’re like many computer users, you may have answered “Google,” or “Yahoo,” but while the company Google does have a browser (Chrome), Google and Yahoo are search engines. A browser is the piece of software on your computer that you use to navigate […]

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  • Social Ads
    Social Ads

    A few months ago, I noticed a curious phenomenon on Facebook. Suddenly it seemed like my friends were posting ads for companies like Starbucks, Walmart and Tide in my newsfeed. “That’s weird,” I thought, “Why would Jennifer post an ad for Tide? Does she want everyone to know how much she loves clean sheets?” It […]

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  • Make a Personal Website
    Make a Personal Website

    From promoting your small business to getting yourself noticed by a potential employer, having your own website can allow you to better control the information, stories and images attached to your online persona. Yet the task of creating a website from scratch seems daunting, leaving many believing that a personal webpage is out of their […]

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  • Clean up Your Email
    Clean up Your Email

    I established my Yahoo email account many years ago. In those days, email was something to look forward to, usually a nice correspondence with a friend or family member. Boy have times changed. My account now receives upwards of 500 spam messages weekly, and most of the messages I receive are certainly not from family […]

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  • New Surface Tablets from Microsoft
    New Surface Tablets from Microsoft

    When Microsoft first unveiled their new Surface tablets last year, they were received with middling reviews, especially the lower-end Surface RT. Less than a year after the original release, Microsoft has already announced the next generation of Surface tablets. The “RT” designation has been dropped and the new tablets are now the Surface 2 and […]

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  • The Switch to Windows 8 – Part 3
    The Switch to Windows 8 – Part 3

    It’s been almost a month since I made the switch to Windows 8, and my feelings are mixed. Here are some of the things that, so far, I like and others that I’d like to ditch. Windows 8’s integration with touch screen devices is undeniably cool. Being able to touch to launch an app, slide […]

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  • Apps That Pay You Back

    My four year old has a serious case of the “gimmes.” From every toy his friends have to things on the shelf in the store, just about everything elicits a “can I have that?” from his early consumer mouth. This has led to many discussions about how “money doesn’t grow on trees,” and “you can’t […]

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  • The Switch to Windows 8 – Part 2
    The Switch to Windows 8 – Part 2

    Last week my foray into Windows 8 began in earnest. I discovered that I like the look of Metro with its apps displayed as “tiles,” though I’m withholding judgment on its user-friendliness. I also learned that I will need to get used to clicking on the corners of the screen to navigate between applications and […]

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  • Find Charity Online

    The other day I was sitting in the Starbucks drive-through line. I pulled up to the window to pay and I was informed that the car in front of me had paid my bill. It was surprising how such a simple gesture made my day. There’s no quicker path to a warm fuzzy feeling than […]

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  • The Switch to Windows 8 – Part 1
    The Switch to Windows 8 – Part 1

    Despite my tech-writer status, I’ve held out against moving to Windows 8. I am strongly in favor of productivity and I find that learning an entirely new layout and way of getting around in my PC tends to hinder my ability to get things done. And yet, my trusty Windows 7 laptop has seen better […]

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  • Hard Drive Diagnostics
    Hard Drive Diagnostics

    Hard Drive Diagnostics Keep One Step Ahead of Your Hard Drive Hard drive failure can be devastating, particularly if it’s been a while since you backed up your data. It can lead to costly data retrieval or worse, loss of data if your drive becomes completely corrupted. Don’t be caught by surprise: make it a […]

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  • Prep Your PC for Back to School

    Prep Your PC for Back to School After spending the summer surfing the net, playing video games, and whatever else your kids do when you turn them loose on the computer, your family PC is probably in need of some R and R. Before you enter the season of homework and research projects, whip your […]

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  • Upgrade to Windows 8
    Upgrade to Windows 8

    We received a great question from local reader Dorothy N. about whether or not she should upgrade to Windows 8. I still have Windows XP.  I have read that Windows will not support XP after April of next year.  I like to have a start button and prefer using a mouse instead of my fingers to […]

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  • Use Pinterest for Back to School
    Use Pinterest for Back to School

    Use Pinterest for Back to School Tips While it may seem like summer vacation just started (or perhaps for some, it feels like it will never end), the time to get the kids geared up and ready to head back to school is right around the corner. Pinterest can help take some of the guess […]

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  • How to Use Google Better
    How to Use Google Better

    How to Use Google Better Time-saving tips for navigating cyberspace Even though more web users search with Google than any other search engine, take advantage of the full power of the tool at their disposal. From finding a quick answer to just about any question, query or calculation you encounter to more easily finding relevant […]

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  • NERDS ON CALL: REPAIR YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact Shawna Bell 1-800-919-6373 marketing@callnerds.com NERDS ON CALL: REPAIR YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION With a Few Simple Tips California, (July, 2013) – When you enter your name into Google (or the search engine of your choice), are the results flattering, or at least accurate? Even if you aren’t keeping tabs on your […]

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  • Repair your Online Reputation
    Repair your Online Reputation

    Repair your Online Reputation When you enter your name into Google (or the search engine of your choice), are the results flattering, or at least accurate? Even if you aren’t keeping tabs on your online reputation, others may be. From potential employers to prospective love interests, information linked to you on the Internet can affect […]

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  • Easy Ways to Increase Laptop Lifespan

    Increase Your Laptop’s Lifespan A few simple tips The compact, mobile loveliness that is a laptop brings with it a shorter lifespan than a typical desktop PC. On average, a laptop has a lifespan of about four years. The hardware begins to age after 2-3 years and they’re usually more expensive to upgrade than a […]

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  • 5 Easy Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

    Prevent Identity Theft and Protect Yourself The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. According to data compiled by Zone Alarm, maker of antivirus and firewall software, identity theft results in an average cost to victim of $4,841 and takes, on average, 33 hours to resolve. With […]

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  • Protect Gadgets from Heat this Hot Summer
    Protect Gadgets from Heat this Hot Summer

    Protect Gadgets from Heat Are you enjoying the 100+ degree summer temperatures? I am pretty sure your gadgets are not. Summer heat and activities can be brutal on electronic devices, but no one wants to leave them behind when taking the kids to the beach or the lake. There are ways to protect your phone, […]

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  • HD Antenna Makes it Easy to Get Rid of Cable
    HD Antenna Makes it Easy to Get Rid of Cable

    Get Rid of Cable with an HD Antenna One of the home theater questions I get asked most often is how to get rid of cable or satellite bills without losing TV entirely. I’ve highlighted how to stream content over the Internet to your TV or computer, but many readers balk at the idea of […]

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  • Take Better Photos with these Smartphone Photography Tips
    Take Better Photos with these Smartphone Photography Tips

    Smartphone Photography Tips for Better Pictures We take our Smartphones with us everywhere, so chances are when you’re ready to snap a quick picture of your kid or four-legged friend doing something especially cute, you’re not going to have your fancy-schmancy camera handy. Yet more often than not, these fast photo-ops end up looking dark […]

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  • Get the Best Home Theater Setup
    Get the Best Home Theater Setup

    The Best Home Theater Setup: Go from ‘Meh’ to Marvelous You spent a lot of money on your that big TV and surround sound, so you should just be able to plug it and watch, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. There are a lot of different factors that affect your home theater looks and […]

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  • Get the Most out of Travel Booking Websites – Part 2

    Tips for Using Travel Booking Websites – Part 2 by Andrea Eldridge Over the last few weeks we’ve been exploring online tools to plan a great summer vacation.  From finding the best deals to doing Disney to cruising, the Internet offers a wealth of resources to get you where you want to go with fewer headaches.  […]

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  • Don’t Trash it: Use a Monitor to Watch TV
    Don’t Trash it: Use a Monitor to Watch TV

    Anyone with a monitor in their closet gathering dust has probably thought the same thing: “Why can’t I just use this to watch TV?”  You can!  As more people transition to mobile devices or upgrade their screen when replacing their PC, there are decent monitors taking up room in storage cabinets everywhere.  Before you retire […]

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  • NERDS ON CALL: DON’T TRASH THAT MONITOR

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact Shawna Bell 1-800-919-6373 marketing@callnerds.com NERDS ON CALL: USE A MONITOR AS A TV California, (May, 2013) – Anyone with a monitor in their closet gathering dust has probably thought the same thing: “Why can’t I just use this to watch TV?”  You can!  As more people transition to mobile devices […]

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  • Choose a Monitor Part 3: Touch-Screen Monitors
    Choose a Monitor Part 3: Touch-Screen Monitors

    Is the Touch-Screen Monitor Age Here? In this, the last of my three-part series on choosing the right computer monitor, we get to the fun part: touch-screen and 3-D technology. Is it worth paying more to get your hands on the newest technology? Touch-screen technology is everywhere — from mobile devices to kids’ toys. As […]

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  • Sharing a Computer: How to Live in Harmony

    Sharing a Computer and Retaining your Sanity Sharing a computer can be tricky.  Whether it’s the kids vying for screen time or summer house guests looking to check their email, following some easy tips can save your sanity. First, create separate user accounts for each family member and one for “Guest.”  This allows each user […]

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  • NERDS ON CALL: SHARING A COMPUTER

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact Shawna Bell 1-800-919-6373 marketing@callnerds.com NERDS ON CALL: SHARING A COMPUTER California, (May, 2013) – Sharing a computer can be tricky.  Whether it’s the kids vying for screen time or summer house guests looking to check their email, following some easy tips can save your sanity. First, create separate user accounts for […]

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  • The Best Way to Choose a Computer Monitor Part 2
    The Best Way to Choose a Computer Monitor Part 2

    While your monitor has a huge impact on your computing experience, the multitude of performance indicators can be confusing.  Last week I reviewed some of the primary factors that you should consider when shopping for a new display, including screen size, components effecting clarity and pairing with the right graphics card. If you missed it, […]

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  • NERDS ON CALL: CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPUTER MONITOR

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact Shawna Bell 1-800-919-6373 marketing@callnerds.com NERDS ON CALL: CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPUTER MONITOR California, (April, 2013) – Your computer’s monitor can make or break your ability to work comfortably, enjoy high quality media and efficiently manage multiple processes simultaneously.   Yet many users choose their monitor based on what’s included in a […]

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  • The Best Way to Choose a Computer Monitor Part 1
    The Best Way to Choose a Computer Monitor Part 1

    Choose a Computer Monitor to Fit Your Needs – Part 1 Your computer’s monitor can make or break your ability to work comfortably, enjoy high quality media and efficiently manage multiple processes simultaneously.   Yet many users choose their monitor based on what’s included in a package deal, or opt for the largest screen available within […]

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  • NERDS ON CALL: TOP TIPS TO FIX YOUR HACKED FACEBOOK

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact Shawna Bell 1-800-919-6373 marketing@callnerds.com NERDS ON CALL: TOP TIPS TO FIX YOUR HACKED FACEBOOK California, (April, 2013) – Anyone who’s received a message from a friend’s Facebook account urging them to click a link or “like” a page to “Win a Free iPad” or “Get a Free Starbucks Gift Card” […]

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  • Make Money Online… No, Really

    Make Money Online… No, Really If I tell you that you can make money using the Internet without leaving your PJs, you’d probably expect me to continue with a sob story about a Nigerian prince or sell you a training course to be a stay-at-home medical transcriptionist. While “get-rich-quick” schemes abound, there do exist some […]

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  • Facebook Account Hacked? Don’t Panic.

    Facebook Account Hacked? Fix it now! Anyone who’s received a message from a friend’s Facebook account urging them to click a link or “like” a page to “Win a Free iPad” or “Get a Free Starbucks Gift Card” knows that social media sites are prime targets for spam and data mining.  What do you do […]

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  • Maintain Public WiFi Safety: Some tips
    Maintain Public WiFi Safety: Some tips

    Tips for Public WiFi Safety It seems every shop and gathering place proclaims “Free WiFi,” but is it safe to check your email at the airport, library or McDonalds?  There are risks to accessing private data while connected to an unsecured, community network.  Here’s how to surf safely when you’re on public WiFi. When you […]

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  • Maintain Public WiFi Safety: Some tips

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact Shawna Bell 1-800-919-6373 marketing@callnerds.com NERDS ON CALL: TOP TIPS TO SURF SAFELY On “Free WiFi” It seems every shop and gathering place proclaims “Free WiFi,” but is it safe to check your email at the airport, library or McDonalds?  There are risks to accessing private data while connected to an […]

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  • Boost WiFi at Home, Part 2
    Boost WiFi at Home, Part 2

    Boost WiFi at Your Home, Part 2 After last week’s article about how to boost your WiFi network, I’m sure you headed straight out to buy a Wireless-N, dual-band router and removed all the cement or brick walls in your home or office to allow for optimal placement and signal transmission, right? No? Never fear.  […]

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  • Been Hacked? Here’s What to Do
    Been Hacked? Here’s What to Do

    So You Think You’ve Been Hacked – What to do next Headlines have been shouting out, that the FBI recently investigated a website which had obtained personal information of high-profile people, and posted it online. Their credit card and social security numbers were available for anyone to see. These numbers have been conned out of […]

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  • Tired of Spotty Reception? Boost WiFi at Home
    Tired of Spotty Reception? Boost WiFi at Home

    Boost Wifi Reception at Home with These Tips Wi-Fi makes connecting to the Internet seem like magic.  There’s a wonderful signal passing through the air that makes my phone work faster and unplugs my laptop from the cable – miraculous!  If you’re affected by slow speed or bad reception, however, staying connected can be a […]

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  • Get Turn-by-Turn Navigation in your Car
    Get Turn-by-Turn Navigation in your Car

    Turn-By-Turn Navigation for Your Car by Heather Neal In the “old days,” if I was going somewhere new I’d call the business and ask for directions – a daunting proposition since not everyone is “good” with directions.  Those days are thankfully over and today I rely mainly upon the GPS in my car, with a […]

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  • Find the Best Tech Deals with These Tips

    Find the Best Tech Deals Around Top Money Saving Tips There’s no denying that indulging a love of electronics can get pricey.  Here are a few tips to ensure that you don’t overpay for technology. Don’t pay more for “high end” cables/connectors: It may come as a surprise that part of your TV, home theater […]

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  • PREVENT TECH INJURIES: ERGONOMICS FOR TECH USERS

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact Shawna Bell 1-800-919-6373 marketing@callnerds.com NERDS ON CALL: PREVENT TECH INJURIES Ergonomic Tips for Tech Users California, (February, 2013) – Whether it is an aching wrist from too much keyboard and mouse use or neck strain from looking down at your laptop or tablet screen, tech injuries typically result from repetitive […]

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