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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life


You can do IT is a regular feature of aimed at trying to help laterlife visitors make the most of Information Technology on or off the web. 

Jackie Sherman who runs the You can do IT Question & Answer section is an IT trainer and author. Jackie has spent her career in education and specialises in teaching IT to adults. Her courses for adults include such topics as MS Office, the Internet, e-mail and basic web page authoring.  

Jackie has also written several books - you can find more details about these by clicking here. Jackie has also been running a course specifically for over 50s.

Via Jackie aims to particularly help those new to IT and the web to build up knowledge and confidence, so no question is too basic. At the same time she will cover Q&As for the more experienced user. 

So if you would like to ask a question of Jackie, or if you have discovered something which may be of interest to others in making the most of the web, then she would love to hear about that too. Why not email her


June 2009


Sending a special email

Q: I want to send someone an email as a birthday greeting. Are there any sites that offer special features such as pictures or sounds?

A: There are hundreds of websites available that offer this for free. One is but just type in keywords such as "birthday email stationery" and you will have a list to choose from.

email birthday

To use:

1. Scroll down the list of messages on the site, preview any of interest and then select one.
2. Click the download button and choose the Install option. It will be added to other themes offered as email stationery that you can use in the future.
3. Go to Message – New using and then select the birthday stationery theme from the list. You will see other themes that you can apply in the future.

new message

4. You will open a message and will see (and hear) the greeting.
5. Write and format the message and send it in the normal way.

writing email



Saving files on a CD

Q: I have a Windows XP machine. I want to save some files onto a CD – can you tell me the steps to follow?

A: Luckily, the operating systems from Windows XP onwards have made CD-copying (known as writing) very easy. So here is what to do:

1. You need to get hold of one of two different types of CD:
      a. CD-R – these can be written to once and are used for the storage of files  you want to keep but NOT edit
      b. CD-RW – use these for files you are saving and will continue to work with, as you can write to them many times.
2. If you place your CD in the CD - writing drive, you will see the Autoplay options asking if you want to view the contents, play any music or print etc. from the disk.
3. The best choice is to cancel, as the disk will either be blank or you will not be working with the contents but simply adding further files. (If you click a View or Open option, or if Autoplay does not work, you will open up the disk to reveal the contents. Close it before continuing.)


4. Open the folder containing the file(s) you want to copy, select them and then use the Tasks pane to select Copy this file/the selected items.
5. A Copy Items window will open. Select your CD-writing drive and then click Copy.


6. In a few seconds, you will see a small balloon in the task pane at the bottom of the screen saying you have files to write to the disk.


7. Click the i balloon icon and you will open your waiting CD. At the top of the window, you will see a faded image of the files you want to copy, each showing a small arrow.

waiting files

8. Click the Write these files link in the Tasks pane and then follow the steps to write them to your CD. At the start of the process, you can "name" the disk (although the name only appears when opening the disk in future and it will show instead of the general CD Drive E: name).
9. At the end of the copying process, the CD drawer will open and you can take out the disk.



View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

For a wealth of books on the web and IT generally, visit Amazon and under the books section select Computers and Internet.

Don't forget to visit the general laterlife features section called laterlife interest


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