Help for Using the Richardson Public Library Computers
Answers to Frequently Asked Computer Questions
- Most USB/Flash/jump drives may be used with the computers. USB drives may be purchased at the information desks.
- To log out when finished using the computer, go to Start, click Shut Down, choose Shut Down again from the drop down menu and then click "OK".
- The DVD drive can read and play DVDs and CDs. Only CD-ROMs can be used for saving information.
- If saving a document to the computer, save it to the "Shortcut to Patron Documents" folder.
- Use "print preview" to review your printing. There are no refunds for unwanted copies. Ask a librarian for help if you have questions about printing.
- Lock your computer if you step away to use the restroom or phone. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select Lock the computer.
Options for Saving Your Electronic Files on Public Access Computers (top)
Since floppy drives are slowly disappearing, there are many ways to store your files. Below are some suggestions:
- Buy a USB Flash Drive
- Save to the Patron Documents folder and send as an email attachment
- Sign up for free online file storage
Creating an Email Account (top)
The following are three of the most popular free email websites. To create your account, fill in the form on the registration page.
Converting *.docx Files (top)
Files created using Microsoft Office 2007 will open automatically as an Office 2003 file. In the event a file does not convert correctly, two converters exist on the Internet and both have free versions, docx2doc.com and Zamzar.com. In both, you upload the file and it will then ask you for an email address to send it to once it has been converted. Please keep in mind that this process is not instant and it does take some time before you receive an email with the converted file.
USB Flash Drives (top)
USB Flash Drives are quickly replacing floppy disks because of their ability to hold 1000 times more information. Flash drives are more durable and can be found in office supply stores for as little as $10.00. Sometimes people refer to these flash drives as "jump drive," "thumb drive," "keychain drive," or "pen drive." Any type of file imaginable can be saved to a flash drive.
To access the USB slot on computers at the Richardson Public Library, insert the device in one of the two slots on the front of the PC. The PC will assign the drive letter E:/ to the flash drive. You may need to type E:/ in the "File Name:" cell and then hit the "enter" key on your keyboard to force Windows to "see" the USB flash Drive.
A USB flash drive can be purchased at any information desk in the Richardson Public Library and it holds 2 gigabyte of data. The cost is $10.00.
When you are ready to remove your USB flash drive, right click the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon on the Windows toolbar in the lower right corner of the screen and click "Safely remove USB storage device." When the power light on your drive turns off, you can remove it from the PC. If the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon is not available or is not working, make sure all of your files are closed and that the drive is not being written to (power light on your device will not be blinking) before you remove your drive.
Please note that the ScanDisk U3 flash drives include an operating system for the drive thereby possibly making the flash drive inoperable on the public access computers at Richardson Public Library. The drive attempts to write information to the compuer’s registry which is blocked by the security software in place to protect the public access computers from tampering.
Save File to Patron Documents Folder and Send as Email Attachment (top)
If you have an email account such as Yahoo!, Gmail, or Hotmail, you can transfer files from one computer to another by simply emailing a copy of the file to yourself as an attachment. While the specifics may differ, attaching files generally requires the following steps:
1. Open your web email account
2. Click the Compose Mail link
3. Click the Attach a file link
4. Click the Browse button and browse to the file you have saved to the Patron Documents file (if you are at the Richardson Public Library)
5. Select the file you wish to add
6. Click OK.
If attached successfully, you will see links with the attachment names in your email. Once you are ready to send the message, click the Send button.
Free Online File Storage (top)
A number of free internet services to save your files to for easy access. By doing so, you are able to access your files from any computer that has Internet access. Using these services generally requires you to set up a free account or have an email account.
In general, free file storage services provide storage up to a certain limit and may also restrict the size of individual files that may be uploaded. Some free services are meant to store files for just a few days and others offer indefinite storage. Read their policies carefully.
If you are storing critical files such as a resume, it is wise to have it stored in more than one place. For example, you might have it stored online and also on a USB flash drive.
Warning: Companies can go out of business or change their policies at any time. Services that were once free sometimes begin to charge fees. The Richardson Public Library cannot assume responsibility for the performance of any of the above-listed services. Critical files should be saved in more than one location.