We Get Questions, Lots and Lots of Questions

Just finished trying to help someone update their profile on VampireFreaks.com (half successfully, half not – I figured out how to add a background image rather than a solid colour and to add an embedded music player as well.  But I couldn't figure out how to place the music player where the person wanted it on the page.)

I sort of regret that I didn't keep a list of all the computer & Internet reference questions I've been asked over the past month as it's been pretty amazing in terms of the range of what people come up with to ask me (as the VampireFreaks.com shows!) – from the most basic beginner questions to quite involved advanced stuff.  With a glance at my list of communities visited so far to prompt my memory, here's a list of some I remember…

– how do I do better Google searches?
– how do I print a selection of a web page instead of the whole thing?
– what are the advantages and disadvantages of high-speed satellite Internet?
– why does my high speed cut off sometimes? 
– how do I erase errors when typing in Word? 
– how do I change the font in Word?  In my e-mail program?
– how do I hook my DS to my wireless system at home?
– does your library have wireless access for my laptop?  (Librarians often mention that patrons ask this as well but unfortunately, we don't at this time.)
– what are the “F” keys for?
– how do I change a document I've saved on a CD-RW?
– is AVG Free Edition good?  Should I update it when it pops up saying I should?
– how do I erase a contact from my e-mail?
– why did someone not receive a message I sent even though it's in my “Sent” folder?
– can you help me install my Bridge game from 1999 on my new Vista machine? 
– what do each of these icons mean?  (The patron had pencil-sketched every single icon on her task bar!)
– why does my monitor flicker?
– why are there pop-ups as soon as I start my computer?
– how do I play an MP4 movie on my portable video player?
– how do I recover the e-mail address book from the CD-ROM that was created after my hard drive crashed?
– how do I get pictures off my digital camera?  (I've been asked this one a few times.)
– how do I create a Facebook account/should I create a Facebook account/what is Facebook?  (This one has come up a few times as well.)
– how do I listen to Internet radio?  Is there a way to pick a song or artist and have it play automatically? 
– how do I download music/movies from the Internet?  (I've gotten this one a few times, usually asked rather sheepishly as if I'm an undercover cop instead of a librarian dedicated to sharing information with the world! )
– how to log-in to the SaskTel webmail service
– why this is an advantage if you're on dial-up and want to preview message sizes before starting downloading huge attached photos, powerpoint files or movies. 
– how to attach a photo to a Hotmail message
– how to save photos that are attached to an e-mail to a hard drive
– what a hard drive is
– the office metaphor that Windows uses – folders, files, desktops, etc. 
– how to upload photos to Picasa.  What Picasa is.  Stepping back, what “upload” means.
– how to find census information online
– the difference between Hotmail and “regular” (ie. SaskTel) mail
– why does my mouse move so fast?  How can I slow it down?
– how do you log in to TutorWorld.com?
– does having a bunch of shortcuts on my desktop slow down my computer?
– how can I speed up my computer? 
– how to view Powerpoint files that someone sends as an attachment
– where people find “those funny forwards” that everybody sends.  (This is maybe the only time I've actually tried to disuade a patron – “are you really sure you want to do that?”  But I did show her some sites where these types of things can be found.)

That doesn't capture everything I've been asked but hopefully provides a good overview of what types of things I'm being asked. 

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