I get a large number of questions from people asking for technical support concerning potentially easy to solve problems.Such issues can usually be solved simply by typing the problem into Google as you will often find that a user has most likely had a similar problem at some point in time and posted a solution to it on one of the many relevant websites and forums.

One site that I’ve recently discovered that provides a solution large number of common questions users have regarding their Windows installations is site is divided into a number of different sections including ‘Using Windows’, ‘Customising’,‘Annoyances’, ‘Reducing Clutter’, ‘Performance’, ‘Troubleshooting’, ‘Applications’ and ‘Humour’ which have all been written by the website authors.

There is also an extremely comprehensive forums section that consists of questions and answers maintained by visitors to the site and this can be searched by keyword or by the genre of Windows you are enquiring about.Of course you are free to post any question that you wish answering as well as providing replies to people who are experiencing similar problems to those you have had in the past.

Looking through the list of tips there are a number that stick out as being potentially rather useful although I must admit that I had never before sat down and wished that any of the modifications that the site suggests were possible.The advice given is often not relating to an immediate problem that you may have but rather to generally improve your Windows experience by providing helpful chunks of information.

To be honest I believe that since it is New Years Day today that many of you will be reaching for the Alka-Seltzer whilst reading this article hence I stumbled across the ‘Computer Humour’ section of and discovered the following light hearted reading.This isn’t educational as such but thought it would be a nice amusing way to enter the New Year; below follows a list of observations relating to the user of computers in Hollywood movies which I think most of you will have recognised at some point or another.

  • Word processors never display a cursor.
  • All monitors display inch-high letters.
  • The most relevant information is displayed in a separate windows right in the middle of the screen, but there’s never an Ok button to other way to close it.
  • High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA, or some such governmental institution, will have easy to understand graphical interfaces. Those that don’t, have incredibly powerful text-based command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.
  • Corollary: you can gain access to any information you want by simply typing “ACCESS ALL OF THE SECRET FILES” on any keyboard.
  • Likewise, you can infect a computer with a destructive virus by simply typing “UPLOAD VIRUS”
  • Powerful computers beep whenever you press a key or whenever the screen changes.
  • The really advanced ones also emulate the sound of a dot-matrix printer.
  • All computer panels have thousands of volts and flash pots just underneath the surface. Malfunctions are indicated by a bright flash, a puff of smoke, a shower of sparks, and an explosion that forces you backwards.
  • Corollary: sending data to a modem/tape drive/printer faster than expected causes it to explode.
  • People typing away on a computer will turn it off without saving the data.
  • Any PERMISSION DENIED error has an OVERRIDE function
  • When the power plant/missile-site/whatever overheats, all the control panels will explode, as will the entire building.
  • The more high-tech the equipment, the more buttons it has however, everyone must have been highly trained, because none of the buttons are labelled.
  • Laptops, for some strange reason, always seem to have amazing real-time video phone capabilities and the performance of a CRAY Supercomputer.
  • Whenever a character looks at a VDU, the image is so bright that it projects itself onto his/her face
  • The internet connects to everything in the movies. You can edit credit records, search hotel registries, lookup police criminal files, search (and edit) drivers license databases, edit social security files and more just using the internet!
  • Smashing the monitor prevents the whole system from working
  • You can launch nuclear missiles from any bedroom using an analogue modem, but only if you know a single secret password.

I wish you all a prosperous New Year and I look forward to passing more helpful nuggets of information on to you all in 2005.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.