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Tech Tip of the week
if your internet is not working, make sure your blockbuster card is up to date before plugging it into the internets.

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Happyrobot (formerly Tim Tamara) Tech Time
is the award winning computer column from happyrobot. Reprinted and syndicated in hundreds of media outlets, our wealth of computer wisdom has made Happyrobot Tech Time the most popular place to find solutions to your computer problem.

If you would like Happyrobot Tech Time Support Staff to speak at your next conference or to act as consultants on your next project, contact us for details.


Need help with that AIM/AOL thing?





Creditentials
The Tamara happyrobot tech time staff has next to no experience in diagnosing computer problems, and has not a single degree in a computer related field from any of the top technical schools – or for that matter, any schools at all.
Not even DeVry.

Experience
The Tamara happyrobot tech time staff has not worked on any major operating systems or for any Fortune-500 companies. They have not ever been hired for cutting edge projects, including ones where the words ‘information technology’ or ‘application development’ might appear in the description.
Happyrobot Tech Time Archives
 |  2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2007 | 2008 | 2010 | 2015 | 
2003
Do you recommend any specific program for parsing apache logs in windows?
Sunday, January 5, 2003
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A co-worker asked me if I'd "posted the PDF files on the LAN" but what he meant was "had I placed the PDF files on the server." I politely told him while I supposed that was technically possible, the operative word "post" was not correct. (I didn't argue the use of LAN, although I don't like it either, because it's too nebulous.) He said he prefered the word "post." I said, well then the world will descend into chaos. What do you think?
Sunday, January 5, 2003
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I don't understand the pricing on flat-panel displays (LCD or otherwise) to comparable flat-panel televisions. Why not A) add a tv-tuner card and an infrared remote/mouse to watch tv via my computer or B) buy an adapter and hook up a TV to my hard drive.

And of course, o add to my confusion, Gateway computers in now offering a 42" HDTV-compatible plasma screen TV.
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
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I wish I was a "hacker". Can I go to a school to learn how to become one? DeVry?
Monday, January 20, 2003
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what are you doing on 2-1-03?
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
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What would you do if, I mean, how does a computer work anyway?
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
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A few years ago I was a young teen with no hair on my legs and a vast collection of music I had stolen from the internet. Now I'm older, leg hair firnly in place, and with it a more respectable set of sensibilities.
My question to you, Tamara, is this: Now that I'm older and see the error of my youthful ways, is there any way I can give all this stolen music back to the internet without being punished? It'd be a sort of amnesty thing, like I hear they do with taxes.
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
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I really love my computer. It's small and cute and does everything I need it to. But when I stare at the screen too long, my eyes begin to hurt. Have you heard of this problem? Is there anything I can do to relieve it?
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
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Monday, February 3, 2003
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What is the main difference between a swith and a router?
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
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Hey, had a good time eating and walking with you. I'm trying desperately to see your show tonight.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
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what's up with computers anyway? You think they'll be here forever or what?
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
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What do you think Tamara? Tables or CSS? CSS is becoming more and more popular, but tables are still probably the best way to ensure a site looks the same in all browsers! BTW, I've looked at your code, and you've got lots of style!
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
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So, my email has been down all day and I'm stuck at work with nothing to do. They tell me these computers can do a lot of other things, any suggestions?
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
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Dear Samarraa,
Why does Quake suck so bad?What games do you play?
Why does Unreal Tournament rock so hard?
What is the secret of OpenGL?
Are you on a Mac or PC?
ASL? LOL!@!@!!@!
Whats your AIM name?
Are you available for birthday parties?
I heard you were hot!
Is that true?
Friday, February 14, 2003
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NO LOGON SERVER AVAILABLE TO SERVICE THE LOGON REQUEST
Thursday, February 27, 2003
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Yesterday I said I didn't like your advice, and today I feel bad that I said this.
Thursday, February 27, 2003
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I have found a new seat for my car for only $75. I want you to be excited for me. Are you excited for me? Before you answer that, let me tell you, I found the $75 seat without the aid of a computer. Does this change how you feel?
Sunday, March 2, 2003
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I created a new database with new tables, and am using the exact same connection string that i use to connect with other databases on the same box, but i keep getting this error:
[Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
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When creating reports about site traffic, what do you usually rely on - hits or visits? I would assume visits would give you a better indication of actual use, but the 'hits' figure is always really high and impressive. As a computer professional, which would you use to get across your point to an executive with little computer knowledge?
Friday, March 7, 2003
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Dear Tamara, I've never had my own AOL messenger account. At times I've been on the computer and my mom's buddies send her an instant message. I've written, "Sorry, it's not my mom!, She's not here!" But that's about it. Am I missing out? How do you pick a good screen name? How do you find buddies? How do you end an AOL conversation? . . . as in what is the normal rate of back and forth sign off exchanges?
Thursday, March 20, 2003
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I am installing a new hard drive. My old one is the master drive and the new one will be the secondary/slave drive. After finally figuring out how the jumpers were supposed to be set, the drives all work, except now my cd burner is acting funny. What is this whole ATAPI thing that I see on all my drives? Did I miss setting something up when I installed my new drive?
Thursday, March 20, 2003
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My I-Pod battery dies really fast - I have read documentation on the web about taking the IPOD apart and fixing it myself. Would you recommend that? There seem to be a lot of users doing it already with great results.
Friday, March 21, 2003
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If I buy a DVD burner, should I get a DVD-R or DVD-RW or DVD+?
I am so confused by all the differences.
Monday, March 24, 2003
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I saw you on TeeVee the other night. Do you get on TeeVee because of your computer knowledge or your skillz in the fun-writing-biz?
Thursday, March 27, 2003
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Your advice is almost completely useless to me as a computer-user type human. Can you recommend a better online Q+A service that I may spend useful life hours in front of?
Monday, March 31, 2003
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Dear TTT,
I just bought a used PowerBook and updated the system software--but it won't go to sleep when its suppossed to--it will when I tell it to--but not when the control panel says--as in in "15 minutes." My wife says its a specific problem with that particular model--a G3 Lombard.Thanks.
Saturday, April 5, 2003
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I'm trying to make jpgs out of screenshots of movies played by my Mediaplayer 7. I "alt+print screen" on the parts I want, then "ctrl+v" in Photoshop 7, but all I get is a screenshot of my Windows Mediaplayer playing a black screen. Do you know a way to correctly paste the screen that I want to copy into Photoshop? Is it perhaps a setting which I have to change? Thanks a lot!
Monday, April 7, 2003
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I don't have a computer question. This is my only way of communicating with you, outside of the other thing, over there. I have a suggestion: You should update your graphics thing to have a flat panel screen.
Monday, April 7, 2003
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Apparently you have to do your taxes every year - which program did you use to yours? Quicken, Money... ?
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
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is there a relationship between video cards and RAM? For instance if I buy a better video card, do I need more RAM, too? Will a more powerful video card consume more of my computer's processing power?
Friday, April 18, 2003
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Triple T! I have returned to work after a leave of absence to find I have been "promoted" from Network Manager to Technical Services Supervisor. Based solely on my current and former titles, does this look like a promotion to you? Will that look bad on the ol' resume?
Friday, April 18, 2003
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Someone told me to "map a drive". What does that mean?
Friday, April 18, 2003
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Have you ever had any problems running the Nortel VPN client with NetGear routers? The LinkSys ones seem to work fine. What gives?
Monday, April 21, 2003
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I just realized that calling your product "the 2000" no longer makes it seem like it's the technology of the future. Suddenly, that makes it look old and useless. And remember Space 2001 - it already happened. And Buck Rogers should have already been launched into space. What gives?
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
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I get the idea sometimes that people write to you with serious computer questions, and they don't realize that you are toying with their emoticons and their lives for the sake of pure comedy. Keep up the good work.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
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I see that your site has ASP pages and not HTML pages. How does that work?
Friday, May 16, 2003
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I have a friend who is having a hard time receiving AM stations on the radio at his office. He's on the 17th floor and relatively near a window. Weird thing is, AM signals are notorious for travelling farther than FM signals, yet he can receive FM signals just fine. I realize this isn't necessarily a computer question, but I thought it worth a shot to run it past you.
Friday, May 16, 2003
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I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. If you will be traveling, be sure and bring your Computer, you never know when you may need it. I myself personally am traveling for Thanksgiving, but I must leave my Computer at home, since it is too big for airplanes. Perhaps I can have it FedExed to my location, and then FedExed home, just in case I begin to miss it. About half of the time that I drink from a glass, some of it spills past my mouth and onto my shirt.
Monday, May 19, 2003
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What type of Wi-Fi card should I buy?
Saturday, May 31, 2003
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How was your party? Anybody do anything goofball or foolhardy? The computer part of the question is comming up. Were there any computers at your party? If so, did they drink? If so, do they know it is bad for electronic devices to injest liquids?
Monday, June 2, 2003
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How do I put music on my AOL webpage?
Monday, June 2, 2003
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I know that when you unplug something it stops working, I think we all do. And I know that the flow of electrons through the cord moves back and forth between the outlet and the computer, to use a device you are familiar with. What I'm wondering is, when you unplug this thing, where do all those electrons in the cord go? Do they all go back into the outlet, or are they forever trapped in the cord? I have some theories about electron flow, what are your theories?
Monday, June 2, 2003
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In Flash MX, how do you get a button embeded in a movie clip point to a frame in the root animation?
Wednesday, June 4, 2003
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What kind of car should I buy?
Don't say Honda, VW, Pontiac or Chrysler.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
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I made brownies last night. If you want one I will FedEx one to you. But first, you must correctly answer the following question: How can God's love be unconditional? What's his secret?Ok. That's two questions. Remember: Brownie(s).
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
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I need a computer that I can take to the beach this summer and do work. Can you recommend a water proof or weather proof computer?
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
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I'm told you're good with 'computers' so I figured it'd be worth it to ask you this question:
The other day I was listening to the song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (from the album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by the Beatles) on my computer's CD music drive. That song must be recorded live or something because you can hear an audience in the background! Anyway, they sing a verse and then there's this break with trumpets and horns and stuff. During this break you can hear the audience laugh at something. I always wondered what it is that's so funny! I pushed some buttons on my computer but I couldn't figure it out! Do you have any idea what the audience is laughing at in that song?
Thursday, June 12, 2003
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Being that you are so wise in the ways of computer electronics, tell us about the computers you have?
Sunday, June 15, 2003
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I assume that since you like computers, you also like Star Trek. Well then, how is it that the people on The Enterprise can fly around without floating around all the time? They just walk around like normal, like they're not in space going a million miles an hour. How do they do that? And don't say "Onboard gravity generator" or I'll kick you til your dead.
Sunday, June 15, 2003
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I noticed late yesterday that when you're outputting a file--Quark 5 doesn't give you a pop-up window listing missing images--it will list modified images, but not missing ones. This couldn't have been on purpose--but is some sort of glitch. I'm going to stick with Quark 4. What do you think they were thinking?
Monday, June 16, 2003
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when i open Word 6.0, I get this error "Access denied to driver, path, or file". HELP!!
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
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I'm listening to what I believe to be 80s German technopop. I almost turned it off to find a more pure 80s mix, but then the idea of Germanic language also rhyming overwhelmed me. I found myself on the floor hours later. From the scratch marks my wooden shoes made on the floor, I deduced that I had been dancing the entire time I was unconscious on the floor. I don't have a question and I don't really expect a response. I just thought I would attempt to communicate with you before the machine takes over your mind completely and the Tamara I know is all capacitor this and software that. I have three items of clothing on. They do not include pants or a shirt.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
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Why?

And when you're done with that one, try this one out: Where?
Sunday, June 22, 2003
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Have you every found yourself accosted by those dam poster children when strolling down Aycock? Can you get rid of them with Command +Option+ESC or do you just have to punch them in the nose?
Friday, July 25, 2003
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Should I place my WAP outside the LAN? By the way, are you on vacation or something? Where are you?
Saturday, July 26, 2003
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How can I get rid of the Dr. Watson system tool in Windows 2000?
Monday, July 28, 2003
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Help! I'm in one of those "CD of the month" things and this is my month...and now my CD burner has decided to stop working! What do I do? It spits out error messages with lots of numbers on 'em, but it doesn't tell me what they mean!
And it figures my CD-burning software only supports SCSI burners, so I can't just run out and get a new one without paying a pretty penny.
What do I do, and if so, why not?
Thursday, July 31, 2003
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How does one get in touch with the beautiful and luscious Tamara F.???

If you had Fancy Pants..would you put them on?
Thursday, July 31, 2003
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With I use the Solicited Remote Assistance feature (in XP), I am denied help from another party by using a method such as email or Windows Messenger. What can I do to fix this problem?
Tuesday, August 5, 2003
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I've got the latest version of Windows, I've got the new G5 and I've got a machine running Linux. I even have all three of these networked together using only barrettes as a sort of modern miracle of technology. I can contact this system with my PDA and access files that shouldn't even be there. Now the old Commodore 64 is being re-released. How can I hook this up to my system using only tinfoil and coaxial cable?
Monday, August 18, 2003
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Can I download a set of printer drivers on one computer and then save that on a disk and then install these drivers onto a different computer?
Saturday, August 30, 2003
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Hi There,
When I open outlook express, it restarts the computer. It opens to the point where it either goes to connect or open my inbox.
We have Win 98 SE, P4 2.4ghz, 512 m of ram, on board sound,lan,vid, 60gig hard disk @7200 rpm. I have rolled back internet explorer and even 5.5 is doing the same. Re install 6 and no change. I am also running Norton Internet Security, perhaps a conflict, but I cant see any config issues with that at all.
I have changed my power management settings both via bios and the windows enviorment. No change what so ever. Any other ideas????
Monday, September 8, 2003
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I bought a new IPOD, but now it's all in german. How can I change the language setting back to english if I don't know german?
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
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What, you don't like computers no more?
Saturday, October 25, 2003
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i use windows XP. is there away to use mac os x in the same computer ?
Saturday, October 25, 2003
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when installing my hp all in one printer the message not enough ram, what can i do
Saturday, October 25, 2003
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Dear Tamara,
My home computer died. It's powerless. No power whatsoever. I don't want to pay to fix it, and most of the data is backed up, except for four years of email, and my address book, etc. I was thinking of taking the drive out and installing it in the expansion bay of my work computer to copy the email, but that seems like a lot of trouble. If, in the future, biographers want my correspondence, they'll be able to get it off there, right? And in the meantime, I can just wait for people to email me to get their addresses. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Saturday, November 8, 2003
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When I turn on my computer, it makes a noise which sounds very much like a morning dove. I don't even know what a morning dove looks like, but there it is.
Saturday, November 8, 2003
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Turn on your AIM, and then we can "talk"
Friday, November 14, 2003
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what is the best way to increase the ram on my pc by double the amount
Friday, November 14, 2003
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i wana brings a hacker hotmail ID hacker plz help it is by dream one day i wana hacker hotmail ID hacker
Thursday, December 4, 2003
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I got an AIM Virus from a link in someone elses profile. The Link is " I can't believe I found %'s pictures here. HAHAHA How can I get it off my computer???? HELP !!
Thursday, December 4, 2003
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Oh man, you've really done it now.
Thursday, December 4, 2003
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What do you know about this spam everyone is so interested in lately?
Saturday, December 13, 2003
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