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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 11

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. Getting the most from your computer.jpg (5543 bytes)

Jackie has also written the two books shown here - you can find more details about these by clicking on the cover images above. 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, why not email her

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

Q:  My grandchildren have installed various games on my computer that they have found on CD-ROMS.  When these don’t work or aren’t played any more, what is the best way to remove them?

A: It is usually a good idea to uninstall programs properly, rather than simply delete files you do not want, as you may not get rid of everything or, worse, could delete system files that you later need in order to run other applications.

Some games include an Uninstall program that will be listed when you locate the game via your Start - Programs menu, but if not, select Settings on the Start menu, open the Control Panel window and double click Add/Remove Programs.  Scroll through the list of software showing in the main window, select the program you wish to remove and click the Add/Delete button.

Occasionally, you will see a message that says there are one or two files that cannot be removed in this way.  Make a note of them and find and delete them via a file management program such as Windows Explorer.


Q: At the moment I have plain green as a background to my desktop.  Can I change this for something more exciting?

A:  You have an unlimited choice of images to show on your desktop, including patterns, pictures saved from the World Wide Web or your own drawings created in packages such as MS Paint or CorelDraw. 

Changing the background involves opening the Display dialog box (right-click your desktop and select Properties) and clicking the Background tab.  A list of ‘wallpaper’ images and surrounding patterns will be visible and you can preview your selection or click Browse and locate any other images saved elsewhere in your computer.  As long as the images are appropriate file types e.g. bitmap or HTML they can be displayed as a single picture or as a series of small images (tiled). 

If your desktop looks too ‘busy’ - go back to the green by selecting None from the wallpaper list.

Q:  I recently spent ages looking for a file I know I saved but couldn’t remember where!  Any tips for finding lost  files in future?

 A:  We’ve all been there and it is a salutary experience for anyone getting lazy about naming and saving files properly,  However, if it happens in future, you need to go to Start - Find - Files and Folders (or open Windows Explorer and click Tools - Find) and type in as much as you can remember about the file - part of the name, what type of file it is etc. - and even click the Date tab to look for all files created between certain dates.  Check that you are looking in the appropriate place e.g. on a floppy disk (3 “ Floppy A) or your hard disk (C:) or in the My Documents folder, and then click the Find Now button.  A list of files will appear below the box and you can check each one until you find the missing item.

Where you only know part of the name use * to stand for unknown characters e.g. if it is a spreadsheet file of unknown name, type *.xls, or if it is a word processed file with  report in the title, type report*.doc


Jackie Sherman`s new book:

Basic Computer Skills Made Simple' provides all necessary computer skills an individual may need and presents them in a straightforward and intelligent way. It demystifies computers and is ideal for those wishing to develop their skills and confidence in the subject whilst working at their own pace.
By using the text the reader will be able to produce a wide range of word-processed documents, prepare illustrated slides to aid talks, store and search for information systematically, and gain confidence handling simple numbers or charts. They will also learn how to connect to the Internet, surf the Web, and send and receive emails.


      Written from a UK perspective, the Guardian Guide to the Internet covers all the stock ground, including browser operation, FTP, Usenet, IRC and putting together a simple Web page


      This book will help you when you've got the machine into your home and you need to know what to do next. Starting with the process of unpacking the box and plugging in all the cables, this book shows you what to do with your new machine.



View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers


Click on a book or magazine image above or below to see full details.

Aimed at first-time Internet users, the guide, co-written by TV personality Carol Vorderman and Internet expert Rob Young, offers a thorough and non-intimidating introduction to the Internet.


HTML 4 features clear and concise instructions   with well-captioned illustrations and screenshots that show both the source code and the resulting effect on the Web page

Specifically written for UK Web users, this book will give you everything you'll need to know to put the Internet to work for you




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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