OVER 2 YOU, 024 (04,04/01)
I have recently
bought a barn for conversion and I would like to find some software that
would enable me to design the interior "virtually". For example
putting in furniture, kitchen, bathroom etc. Ideally I would like to
download something over the Internet and I must be able to enter the
actual floor plan of the building and be able to save this as a record, so that
if I want to change the design around, I can do without having to
reload the floor plan. Does anybody out there know of any such
R & M Heys, via email
is a very comprehensive list of titles, with potted reviews on the Interior
Design Directory web site at: http://www.i-d-d.com/, just click on the Software
Linda Redman, via email
embarked on a similar project last year, which unfortunately never came to
fruition, however, during my research an architect friend recommended a 3D
modelling program called SoftCad, developed specifically for interior
designers. I believe a fully working demo version can be downloaded from the
Internet, the web site address is: http://www.softcad.com/
might be interested in a Which? Report, published last year, on four popular
interior design software packages. It was not very encouraging; maybe things
have got better since then. You can find more details at:
looking for computer software that will record video on a constant (and variable) loop, allowing you to do a simple edit and save to the hard drive. It means if something you're watching proves interesting and worthy of recording, you can wait for it to finish and edit and save the whole thing -- from a few seconds to a whole programme. I already have such a thing for audio but can't find it for video anywhere.
John Collins, via email
Have a look at the
current (May) issue of PC Magazine, which has on its free cover-mount CD-ROM a
demo version of a program called Power VCR II. This claims to turn your PC into
a VCR with features like instant TV replay and it can be used with an on-line
programme guide. In case you can't get hold of the magazine there's full details
and a demo program download at: www.gocyberlink.com
M. Joshi, via
I am using MS Project version 4 in connection with
historical research. The Gantt chart presentation is ideal for displaying
the location of military units between certain dates, but the period of
interest is 1940-1970, and Project doesn't recognise dates before 1984.
Can this be changed, because working with a 50-year offset can get very
confusing? Or is there another, similar package that will cover the required
Allan G Williams, via email
think you are either going to have to learn to live with the 'offset' or switch
to a more flexible program. One that looks as though it might meet your needs
is Milestones Professional, which can prepare Gantt charts and appears to be
able to handle almost any range of dates. You can download a free trial version
the Internet's reputation for being able to supply every conceivable human desire, I am unable to find anyone selling hedgehogs or slow worms. These are not for occult purposes but as a green alternative to slug pellets.
As a gardener who lives in London, I am desperate to deter monopods from eating
Ian C, via email
We are constantly being asked to supply hedgehogs to
'green gardeners', many believing that's what the Charity (Rochdale Hedgehog
Rescue) is for. When asked why they want them, the answer is always the same,
'I have a slug problem'. Further conversation reveals that few have the
animal's welfare as a priority, so, for the record…
Firstly, the hedgehog is not a sociable animal and
leads a solitary life from just a few weeks after birth. It needs space and the
freedom to roam in search of its natural food, rarely taking up residency in
any particular spot. It is unlikely that the average garden would be large
enough to sustain one hedgehog let alone any more than that.
Secondly, whilst hedgehogs will eat a few slugs if
there isn't anything more appetising around, they do not consume them in the
vast quantities people suppose...beetles, worms and caterpillars being far
higher on the preferred diet list.
If the hedgehog is not already a visitor to the
garden the reasons generally are a lack of natural food, the wrong environment
or being visited by its predators. Whereas the 'green gardener' may offer an
oasis for wildlife, more often it is only a speck in an ocean of danger and
Please do not be tempted to introduce hedgehogs to an area where they are
not already present, you could be condemning them to a shortened life of misery
and eventual death without resolving the slug problem. We
would suggest to your readers that the old methods of control are far more
successful, i.e. a beer trap, putting a ring of sharp sand or bran around the
plant or simply just patrolling your pride and joy regularly picking them up.
warn Ian.C that cats find slowworms delicious. So unless protected they will not last a week.
I am a craftsman goldsmith specialising in the
design and handcrafted commissions. Does anyone know of any software that
I could use to show my clients say, for example, a variety of precious stones,
settings, basic designs etc and perhaps also a facility to add my own artistic
development? In this way I clients would be able to see the piece almost
in reality. I know it can be done with clothes and hairstyles and feel sure the
technology will have been used elsewhere.
John D. Vaughan, via email
I can tell you that there is an excellent new
software product available, which is specifically designed for jewellers. For
further details you can contact Andrew Smyth at Tecgems Ltd on 01189 776645 or
take a look at the website which is gemmarius.co.uk.
In addition to the previous replies about CAD
software, Mr Vaughan might like to consider a new service from a UK company
called Claripoint (www.claripoint.com).
This allows anyone to show images from any application to anyone else with an
Internet connection whilst talking to them on the phone - and without requiring
the receiving person to download any software or applets. Mr
Vaughan could use this together with either one of the specialised packages
mentioned or simply a series of photos covering the variety he wishes to
My father recently bought a computer (he is in his
70's) and he is definitely hooked on using it for letter writing and surfing
the web to find out more about our family tree. However, my mother has not used
it, not even for a game of FreeCell! She suffers from Parkinson’s disease, so
it can't be to one that needs too much "mouse" work
Nigel Crowter-Jones, via email
is probably the latest reply you have had to an Over 2 You question but I kept the page from October last year and have only just got around to it. I think these people could make it easier for Nigel's mother to use a PC. I
found them whilst researching different types of keyboards for the photographic
company I work for (Kodak) as a lot of our keyboards are in lowlight areas.
They claim they are "Providing computer resources for special needs, RSI
and disability" and they make all sorts of larger and easier to use
keyboards; they are based in Southampton http://www.keytools.com
CAN YOU HELP?
my retirement only 12136 days away I thought it would be nice to countdown these remaining days of toil on my PC. Ideally I'm imagining a screen saver similar to the 3D Text
option that comes as standard with Windows. But instead of displaying fixed text
or the current time I want to be able to input the aim date. Then every time
the screen saver is used it will display the current number of days I have left
to work. Does anybody know of such an item?
Richard Fowle, via email
you please tell me if there is an application or program that can convert a microfiche into readable pages on a PC screen?
Ray Clark, via email
I am looking for software, which will enable me to
maintain records of parishioners with associated information for Church purposes. Apart from names and addresses such details
as dates of birth, baptism, marriage, death, and membership of church activity
groups such as Readers, Church cleaners etc would be needed. This really needs to be linked to a word
processor function to print letters and address labels as well as reports of
various kinds. Some form of analysis
function would be useful for instance to sift the data by age group and by
school attended etc. At present I use Churchill Parish 2000 and have discovered
it has serious limitations.
Doyle, via email