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TMCNet:  Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Steve Alexander column

[February 19, 2013]

Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Steve Alexander column

Feb 19, 2013 (Star Tribune (Minneapolis) - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Q: My daughter, who is hearing-impaired, has been told that she can text from an iPad. Is this possible My daughter also wants to take the iPad outside her building, which doesn't have Wi-Fi, and somehow still get on the Internet. What would she need to do this Maurine Dyrdahl, Mounds View A: Any iPad using the current iOS 6 operating system, or the previous iOS 5, can send text messages using Apple's iMessage function. But text messages can be sent only between Apple devices, so your daughter could only text people who have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Macintosh computer using a newer operating system. Your daughter could broaden her reach a bit with iPad apps such as the free Textie, which will work on iPads using an operating systems as old as iOS 3.1; but everyone she texted would need to have the Textie app, too.

There are two ways to get on the Internet with an iPad: Wi-Fi, or, if you've bought the more expensive cellular iPad model, via the cellphone system. Using a cellular connection requires setting up a separate cellphone account for the iPad.

Q: I would like to download e-books to my laptop, which runs Windows 7, and to my desktop, which runs Windows XP. How can I do this Harold Gabriel, Brooklyn Center A: You can download the Kindle e-reader software for PC at tinyurl.com/2e3r7fe.The Kindle software is compatible with Amazon's online bookstore and with some of the Hennepin County Library's free e-book lending collection. To get started with the Kindle software in the Amazon bookstore, see tinyurl.com/d6mvb35. To learn about using the Kindle software to borrow Hennepin County Library e-books, see tinyurl.com/ctoay36.

Q: My HP computer had a problem with a sticking keyboard. Cleaning the keyboard didn't help, so I bought a new keyboard. But I still had the same problem.

When I hit a key, the letter either does not appear, or else it will appear after I hit the subsequent key. Is there a PC adjustment that can fix this Gloria Palmentieri, Margate, Fla.

A: There are a couple of adjustments to try.

Make sure you haven't accidentally activated a special Windows program for people with disabilities. Called "slow keys," it allows the user to specify how long a key must be depressed before it registers on the screen. It can be set for as long as two seconds. Go to Start, then Control Panel, then click on "Ease of Access Center." Click on "Make the keyboard easier to use." Make sure the box next to "Turn on filter keys" is unchecked. Click OK.

If that doesn't solve the problem, try adjusting Windows control for the rate at which keystrokes, particularly duplicate keystrokes, show up on the PC screen. Go to Start, then click on Control Panel and choose Keyboard. Under the Speed tab, you'll find two slider controls, one for repeat delay (move it to the right for a shorter delay when you hit the same key twice in a row) and repeat rate (slide it to the right to speed up the rate at which the next character in a sequence appears on the screen.) 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.

___ (c)2013 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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