Q&A: How can I make my laptop shut down when I close the lid?

windows-8-1Question from Betty C.:  I have a Toshiba Satellite C55-A5105 laptop with Windows 8.1. I’ve only had it for a couple of months and I’m already having a problem with it.

When I finish using the laptop I click the Shutdown icon and it shuts down just fine. But if I close the lid after clicking the Shutdown icon, it doesn’t shut down. It goes into Sleep mode instead.

Is there a way to force this laptop to shut down automatically when I close the lid?

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

How to never miss an opportunity to get free shipping on Amazon

amazon-filler-finder-logoAmazon is the world’s largest online retailer, and one of the things that makes Amazon so popular is their policy of offering free shipping for most items if your order totals at least $35.

But what if you finish your shopping and the order comes to just 32.67? That leaves you $2.33 short of the magic number which means you’re gonna miss out on that awesome free shipping deal! [Continue Reading]

How to access your PC’s BIOS settings and Boot Menu in Windows 8

windows-9-logoWhile I’m not a big fan of Windows 8, I must admit that it does come with a few major improvements over previous versions of Microsoft Windows, one the biggest of which is a faster boot-up time.

Compared to Windows XP, Vista and 7, Win 8 boots up to a usable Start Screen much faster then its predecessors can produce a usable Desktop.

This faster boot-up time presents a problem however. Windows 8 begins the actual boot process so quickly that pressing a hotkey (F2, F10, etc.) to display the PC’s BIOS settings screen or F8 to display the Boot Menu is simply impractical. To get around this problem, Microsoft changed the way we access those items. Here’s how to do it:[Continue Reading]

Q&A: Can you recommend a good program for adding speech commands to Windows 8.1?

windows-8-1Question from Belinda Q.:  Hi Rick. I had a stroke a while back, and although I’m recovering nicely, my right arm and hand are still very weak and I have great difficulty using the trackpad on my laptop.

Can you recommend a good program that will allow me to control the computer using my voice?

Price is an issue because I’m on a fixed income, but I need something that works well even if it costs a little more. I need for it to work with Windows 8.1. Thanks in advance for your advice!

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Review: Acer Aspire E15 15.6-Inch Laptop

acer-aspire-e15In times past, the typical budget laptop came stuffed with cheap, inferior components that made for a frustratingly slow and inefficient computing experience. But times have changed.

Nowadays even the cheapest of laptops offer plenty of speed and power for everyday computing tasks.

I recently had the opportunity to check out a very affordable budget laptop from Acer, and overall I believe it’s a great machine for the money.

The Acer Aspire E15 is an attractive, sleek looking laptop that has everything the typical user will need in order to surf the Internet, peruse Facebook and Twitter, watch videos on Youtube, send and receive email, use Microsoft Office, edit photos and much, much more. [Continue Reading]

Speed up your PC dramatically by installing an inexpensive SSD

ssdIn a previous post I discussed how adding RAM to your PC would give you the biggest bang for the buck when upgrading your computer. Adding RAM has always been one of the most cost effective ways to speed up a PC, and it still is.

Today I’m going to tell you about an equally amazing upgrade that costs a little more, but will definitely speed up your computer and hurtle it right into the fast lane! [Continue Reading]

How to make Windows 8.1 ‘forget’ unused Wi-Fi networks

windows-8-1If you’ve done some traveling with your laptop you have probably built up a long list of Wi-Fi networks that you’ve connected to while you were out on the road.

Chances are you’ll never have occasion to connect to many of those networks again, yet they still keep popping up every time you need to establish a Wi-Fi connection.

If your laptop is running Windows 8.1, it’s easy to remove those old Wi-Fi networks from your list of remembered networks. Here’s how: [Continue Reading]