Moderated and reported by Jim Scheef
Ask DACS is a Question and Answer session before the main presentation at the monthly General Meeting. We solicit questions from the floor and then answers from other audience members. My role as moderator is to try to guide the discussion to a likely solution to the problem. The answers below include my own post-meeting research.
Q – Using the most recent Firefox update (20.0.1 at the time of the meeting) the cookies set by Yahoo Mail do not appear in the Cookies Window. I run Firefox with the Cookies Window open so I can see cookies as they are set and remove them. The cookie window is found on the Privacy tab of Firefox Options.
A – No one had any idea why the new Firefox version would change cookie handling behavior to exclude Yahoo Mail. Firefox has several options to manage cookies automatically. One option is to set Firefox to delete all or some browsing history at the end of the session, when Firefox is closed. Another possibility is to run Firefox in “private browsing mode” at all times. No one was sure if this will block all cookies during a session, but a little testing would determine what happens. Last, Firefox has a facility to specify which sites are allowed to or blocked from setting cookies. Presumably this would allow overriding a default of blocking all or allowing all cookies. Caveat: Blocking cookies, even third-party cookies, affects website behavior. As we researched this at the meeting,
Q – How can I preserve my Firefox bookmarks if I want to uninstall and then reinstall Firefox?
A – Bookmarks are stored in your profile. The user friendly way would be to export the bookmarks using the export facility in the Firefox Library. In the Bookmarks menu click on either “Show all bookmarks…” or “Unsorted Bookmarks”.to open a window called “Library”. Look for the ‘Import and Backup’ menu and select ‘Export Bookmarks to HTML…’ or ‘Backup…’.
The more inclusive method is to copy your entire profile which is stored in two parts. In Vista and Win7 it is in C:\Users\<userid>\AppData\Roaming\ (this is the important part) and C:\Users\<userid>\AppData\Local\. In both locations copy the “Mozilla” folder with the contents. In XP the profile is in “C:\Documents and Settings\<userid>\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla and “C:\Documents and Settings\<userid>\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla”. After reinstalling Firefox, replace the “new” profile folders with your backups. Naturally if there were problems in your old profile, those problems may well be restored along with the rest of the profile. If Firefox was seriously screwed up (for instance, would only start in safe mode), then it may be safer to restore a separate backup of just your bookmarks. Your Firefox profile includes any settings for installed add-ons, but not the actual add-ons. After reinstalling Firefox, reinstall all your add-ons and then replace the profile folders. Caveat: Several of the folders in these paths are hidden, so this will be much easier if you change the setting to show hidden files and folders in Folder Settings.
Q – The program “jucheck.exe” keeps popping up on my computer. Currently it’s popping up about once an hour. How do I make it stop?
A – Oracle, the company that supplies Java, calls this program the “Java Auto Updater”. It is installed on your computer when you install the Java Runtime Engine which is required to run any program written in Java. Once installed, it runs in the background and periodically checks to see if a newer version of Java is available. If a newer version is available, the program displays a message on your screen to this effect. The easiest way to make it stop is to install the new Java update the program is desperately calling to your attention. If you do not need Java, the runtime and the updater can be safely uninstalled using Programs and Features (Vista/Win7) or Add-Remove Programs (XP) in Control Panel. This method is entirely adequate most of the time. A member recommended using the free version of Revo Uninstaller which claims to do a more thorough job of removing all traces of a program. Revo Pro costs $39.25 for one computer. The free version has fewer features.
Q – I use AT&T DSL and received a notice that I would be upgraded to AT&T Uverse internet service at no additional cost and AT&T will provide a new device to replace the old DSL modem. Furthermore, this change is not optional, the old DSL service will be discontinued in my area. Has anyone upgraded to Uverse Internet? Were there any issues? Can I still use my present router?
A – No one at the meeting had received such a notice and no one was using the Uverse Internet service. I related my experience installing Uverse for a client. This was a business location and they needed a static IP address at that time. The premise device supplied by AT&T was a Motorola NVG510. I don’t know if this is the same device that AT&T supplies for home use but it does not have the flexibility required in a “business-grade” device. The customer is using many “cloud services” so we elected for the highest available speed of 30Mbps. This speed proved to be faster than their Netgear router so we had to replace the router as well. My testing indicated that Uverse delivered the rated speed. In a “normal” home situation with a dynamic IP address, many of the issues I encountered will not exist. As to using the current router, it should be possible but not necessary. If you assign the new device the same Wi-Fi SSID and encryption settings, your network devices should not know the difference. For those who have this opportunity, I would go for it.
Q – I have my address book in Google Contacts. Is there a way to access these contacts without opening Gmail first?
A – Yes, just open “google.com/contacts” in your browser. You will be prompted to log into your Google account, if you have not already done so. Create a shortcut, favorite or bookmark to speed the process even more. If you are happy using Gmail and Google Contacts in your browser, then there is no need to change anything, as your email and contacts are available from any computer. Some of us prefer to use an email client program, like Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, etc. These programs can then manage your contacts in their “address book”. With Microsoft Outlook you can leave everything in Google as it is and set up Outlook to synchronize your email (using IMAP), contacts and calendar in Outlook. This would be the “cake and eat it too” solution.
Q – Where can I find a class on how to use the latest Windows?
A – The Microsoft Store offers free workshops on using Microsoft products. There is a schedule for the Danbury store at http://content.microsoftstore.com/en-us/detail/danburyfairmall. Many adult education programs offer classes in using Windows. You would need to check to be sure they are teaching Windows 8. There are tutorials on the web; check the Microsoft website. Lynda.com (the program topic at the April general meeting) has 13 courses in using Windows 8. The DACS Mobile Devices SIG has expanded to include Windows 8; the SIG meets on the fourth Thursday each month. I bought David Pogue’s book, Windows 8, the missing manual (O’Reilly, 900 pages) which is excellent. A member mentioned Windows Secrets which is a subscription newsletter service. The website has some free information.Smart Computing Magazine is still available and currently features Windows 8. At the meeting I did a search for “need to know Windows 8” and found many good resources.
Questions for the upcoming meeting can be emailed to email@example.com.
Disclaimer: Ask DACS questions come from members by email or from the audience attending the general meeting. Answers are suggestions offered by meeting attendees and represent a consensus of those responding. DACS offers no warranty as to the correctness of the answers and anyone following these suggestions or answers does so at their own risk. In other words, we could be totally wrong!