QThe image on my screen has gradually moved to the left so that I can't see the first letter or two of each line of type. How can I get them back?
AThis happens often with cathode-ray-tube monitors -- but it can crop up on older liquid-crystal-display flat panels, too.
In each case, it's likely to be an issue with "screen geometry" -- where the image sits on the screen itself, its height and width, its shape and its angle -- and it can be fixed in much the same way. Look for a lineup of buttons on the display's side or underneath its "chin." If your display is an LCD, first press the "auto" button, if it's included, to have the screen automatically adjust itself. If that's not an option, press the central button in this arrangement, often slightly larger than the others, to bring up the monitor's on-screen controls.
The buttons to either side of that central control, generally marked with symbols for left, right, up and down, will then let you adjust the display's geometry settings. Your monitor's manual should have exact directions, but most screens' interfaces are simple enough to allow you to learn them by trial and error.
You can avoid all these problems by using newer LCDs, which generally keep themselves adjusted, and by using a digital DVI connection between your computer and your LCD, which will eliminate any chance for this type of drift.
I'm running low on disk space, and Add/Remove Programs shows a bunch of separate updates for my Java software. Can I get rid of all but the latest update?
Those Java update files, at more than 100 megabytes each, are a massive waste of disk space and an unfortunate exhibit of sloppy programming habits. Fortunately, when I've removed the older updates, I've never seen any issues afterward. So go ahead and give the old Java updates the boot -- and while you're at it, you can get rid of old updates to Adobe Reader, which for some reason has used an equally inefficient update system.
-- Rob Pegoraro
Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or email@example.com.