In the news:
Q: I’m considering a new computer but I really don’t like Windows 8. I’ve played with it on my friend’s computer, and I guess I’m just too old for all the finger swiping. I much prefer a mouse.
Also, I don’t seem able to find my way around as I’m used to. My questions are: Can you still buy a new computer with the Windows 7 operating system? If not, can you configure Windows 8 to look and operate like Windows 7?
— Riley Slosson
A: Yes, most computer makers are continuing to offer models with Windows 7 installed as the operating system. And I’m inclined to agree with you that if you don’t need or want the touch-screen capabilities, there’s not a compelling reason to make the move to Windows 8.
If you do have Windows 8, however, you can quickly access an interface that is pretty much identical to the old Windows 7 interface simply by clicking on the tile labeled “Desktop” in the Windows 8 initial screen.
Also, be aware that you can still use a mouse with Windows 8. No need to swipe if you don’t want to.
Q: After hearing me gripe about this one time too often, my wife suggested I try writing you to see if you could solve my irritating problem. When I go into my Internet Explorer, I get an Object Error box that effectively locks up/freezes my PC on that page. From there I must Ctrl-Alt-Del to get to Task Manager and clear the problem, which often takes several attempts.
— Jim Dietz
A: The most likely cause is a corrupt add-on in Internet Explorer. Try this: Go to the Tools menu (or click on the gear-shaped icon) and select Manage Add-ons. Next, select each add-on and click on Disable.
If that solves your problem, you can then enable each add-on until the problem recurs, to find out which one is the culprit.
Q: When I turn on my computer or even bring it up from “sleeping,” I get a pop-up from Backup Duty Lite saying my computer has not been scanned and I need to do their scan of various systems. I check with my Norton program and all is in order. How do I keep from having it appear, or do I have to keep deleting it whenever it appears? — Joan Ander
A: You’ve definitely picked up a piece of malware. The first thing to do is to go to the Control Panel and click on Programs and Features. Find “Backup Duty Lite” in the list of programs and click on it, then click on Uninstall.
When that’s finished (or even if you didn’t see Backup Duty Lite on the list), go to www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx and download the Microsoft Safety Scanner. I haven’t tried this personally, but I’m told the scanner will remove that particular piece of malware, as well as others.
Q: I recently acquired a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablet. When trying to download videos from the library, a screen pop-up says Adobe does not support Flash for this device, which is Jelly Bean. Do you know of an alternative to Flash or a workaround to be able to download videos?
A: Jelly Bean is a version of the Android operating system. And it’s true that Adobe no longer supports Flash on the Android platform.
Fortunately, however, you can still manually install Flash on your device. First, make sure that tablet is configured to allow applications from “unknown sources” to be installed. You’ll find this setting in the Security section.
Next, launch your browser and go to helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/archived-flash-player-versions.html. Scroll down to the Archived Versions section. You can select either the most recent version to download or an earlier version, depending upon compatibility with your device.
Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.