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Alexander: How to solve PC problems from afar

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER
  • Star Tribune
  • December 11, 2012 - 9:32 PM

QI have a 79-year-old sister in Los Angeles who is technologically challenged, and it would be beneficial to have remote access to her PC so I could help her out. I'm wondering if you can repeat some information from one of your earlier columns, in which you recommended a remote-access program to a woman who wanted to help her mother with her computer.

In addition to finding the program you recommended, I also want to know if I need to load the remote-access program on both my PC and my sister's.

MARGO TECH, Fridley

AHere's a link (tinyurl.com/bf64h7y) to a column I wrote in February about remote access between two PCs via the Internet.

The free software I listed can be downloaded from the CNET website. CNET's most widely used remote-access program is TeamViewer (tinyurl.com/83rxyha). But at the bottom of the CNET page you'll find a list of other popular remote-access programs.

Both you and your sister will need to download copies of the same program in order for you to remotely access her PC.

QDo you know of a way to import old e-mails into the Thunderbird e-mail program? I recently reformated my PC's hard drive and need to reload it with the things I had before. While I've copied the old e-mails back onto the hard drive, I can't access or view them with Thunderbird.

TERRY MOSES, ST. PAUL

AYou need some additional software to help you import your old e-mail files into Thunderbird, which is a free e-mail program from the Mozilla organization that created the Firefox browser. You'll need to download a free add-on program for Thunderbird called the "ImportExportTool extension." You'll find a link to download it at the bottom of the website at tinyurl.com/4d59osh. For instructions on how to use the download, see "Install the ImportExportTool extension" at tinyurl.com/b2banr.

QI have an HP PhotoSmart 5510 printer that I'm using with Windows 7. The print driver software for it came with Windows 7, but I'm disappointed with the driver's functionality. Other HP printers that I've had all came with their own driver software that offered many more features, such as the ability to print mirror images or both sides of the paper. Is there other driver software that would give my printer more functions?

BOB HESTON, ATASCADERO, CALIF.

ATry the free software at tinyurl.com/bydxvw5, which HP made available in late October. HP says it's designed "for users who want more than just a basic (printer software) driver."

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@ gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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