Q: I am a fairly new Apple Mac user (I have a Mac Mini) and I have a problem that I hope you can help me with. I get a lot of video clips with the extension .wmv sent to me from friends. When I try to open them, my QuickTime player pops up with an error message that says, "The movie could not be opened. The file is not a movie file." Do you have any idea what I need to do to fix this so I can watch these clips?
-- Heidi Orris, Orlando
A: To play .wmv files, which stands for "Windows Media Video" files, on a Macintosh, you need to download and install the free Windows Media Components for QuickTime from Flip4Mac. These components are endorsed by Microsoft and can be downloaded at tinyurl.com/hr9on.
Q: I would like to know how you send an e-mail to a phone? Are there any additional charges for this service or is it free? -- David Magdaleno, Melbourne, Fla.
A: If the person has a smartphone like a BlackBerry or iPhone or if they can connect to the Internet to access e-mail on the phone, you don't have to do anything special, just send an e-mail to their address.
You can also send e-mails to cell phones that can receive text messages. If the recipient has AT&T, their e-mail address would be their phone number followed by @txt.att.net; if it's T-Mobile, it would be the number and @tmomail.net; Verizon, the phone number and #vtext.com; Sprint, the phone number and @messaging.sprintpcs.com.
The e-mail will be received as a text message and the recipient may be able to reply to it. Standard text messaging rates apply.
Q: All of a sudden I am getting pop-ups when I am on the Internet. Could you please recommend a free program to stop this?
-- Shirley Mathers
A: All of the major browsers have built in pop-up blockers in their latest versions.
They aren't perfect, but they block most of the pop-ups.
By default, the pop-up blockers are turned on, but if you are having problems, you may want to check that you have the latest version of your browser and that the pop-up blocker isn't turned off.
If you are using Internet Explorer, select "Pop-up Blocker" from the Tools menu. If you are using Firefox, choose "Options" from the Tools menu and then click on the "Content" tab. In Safari, look under the Safari menu to make sure that "Block Pop-Up Windows" is checked.
If you still have problems and you're using Windows, you could install the Google Toolbar (toolbar.google.com) for extra protection.
Etan Horowitz is the technology columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5447. To read his technology blog, visit http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/etan_on_tech/.