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Expert Technology Advice
by Dan Hanson

Thye say that computers and other modern technology are easy. But that's not always the case. Consider this statement that a comedian told:

I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

Sometimes you need a little help to figure something out or to get the most out of one of your devices. Feel free to send in your questions and we will do our best to answer them. Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question, except the one you don't ask!

If it is a question that is very specific to you, it may not get posted on this website. The questions that will have value to other people as well have a better chance of being posted.

We know that seniors are very active in the technology world (as dramatized in the funny story below) and don't want to be left behind. So e-mail us your questions.

A while back, I got a call at about 10:45 PM. It was my mother and she had a very worried tone of voice.

"Bob", she said, "we have a problem here. I don't think it's serious but I thought I'd better call you."

My parents are in their 80's and their health is not the best so when I get a call like that at that hour, I start reaching for my car keys and a phone to call 911.

Then she said, "It's this damn printer."

Ah, parents. (as told by Steve Bass)

What is Twitter?
And what are Tweets?

Q. Sometimes when I go to a website I get a message that the website is unavailable. I never know if it's something I did wrong or if my connection is bad or if the website has a problem. How can I tell?

A. We have all gone to a website and it doesn't come up and you wonder if the site is down or if it's something on your end. Well, you don't have to call your buddy and ask them to check the site anymore. Just visit Down for everyone or just me? and enter the URL (like

It will probably respond "It's just you." but sometimes a site is down and this will let you know.

Q. When I copy something from a web page, I highlight it with my mouse and then hold down Control and press the C key. When I paste it into Microsoft Word, how can I avoid all the formatting characters that come with it? I just want the text.

A. If you copy some stuff from a web page or wherever and you want to paste it into Word without all the accompanying formatting, use this tip. Copy the text (Control-C) but don't just press Control-V it to paste to the document. Use the Edit menu (or drop down menu under the Paste icon) and choose Paste Special.

Then choose Unformatted Text and the formatting - even the hyperlinks - are cleared up.

Coming soon (from questions we're received)

What is Facebook?

What is LinkedIn?

Why should I get (or not get) an iPad or other tablet instead of a laptop?

My Windows XP system works fine. Why should I upgrade to Windows 7?

Why would I get a smart phone when I just want to make phone calls?

How can I transfer my records to my computer or iPod?

What is the Cloud I keep hearing about?

So e-mail us your questions.

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