Tips & Tricks

Can't turn it on, can't turn it off

Every now and then a laptop computer appears to stop working where it is caught between switched on and fully switched off. Removing the battery works well on older models with a battery which is easily removed however modern laptops have non-removable batteries so the trick is to disconnect your laptop from the AC adaptor and then depress the power button until all of the lights go off, usually 8 to 10 seconds is plenty. Check the laptop for any sign of power, especially a slow-blinking light which signifies sleep mode or somesuch, you can repeat this process several times without harming the laptop. Once the laptop is fully switched off, pressing the power button in the usual way will generally bring it back to life. If not, email or call us on 08 8682 1666

My TouchPad has stopped working

This is another common problem on laptop computers, especially the more recent models where the default action of the function keys is now to make significant changes to various important settings on your computer. The problem occurs because of the proximity of the function key row about the numerals across the top of the keyboard. The TouchPad on/off function key varies from one brand to another so I have included some screenshots below, on Toshiba laptops it is generally the F5 key which is just above the 5/% key. Press the F5 key once and see if the TouchPad starts working. On some computers you may need to press the F5 key while holding down the Fn key.

Printing the screen

Your computer has a button called "Print Screen" which never actually prints the screen when you press the button! The button should actually be called "Copy Screen" or "Capture Screen" because that is all that happens when you press the button. So you need to open an app like Microsoft Word and then "Paste" the screenshot into a document which you can then print. You may wish to change the page layout to landscape first so that the screen shot fills more of the page. If you don't want to capture the whole screen, than you can either paste the image into a graphics editing program, or use the Snipping Tool program which is supplied with Microsoft Windows. Snipping Tool allows you to capture a part of the screen which is often the case, and you can then either save the image to your computer or you can copy and paste it into a document as above. You could also download an excellent piece of software called Skitch for Windows (also available for Mac) which also allows you to annotate the captured image. Be careful when downloading Skitch though, the web page has a bunch of other stuff which you really don't want to download so make sure you hit the right "Download Now" button, here is a picture! (captured using Skitch of course!)

You can also use CTRL-P to print the screen which will work well most of the time although a lot of web pages will not print exactly what you see and mess up the page formatting to make it unreadable. For example the Telstra NBN page among many others..... Thanks to Google, you will find that all of the pages on this web site will print with proper page formatting so you can use CTRL-P across our web site.