OVER 2 YOU, 035 (21/06/01)
am being constantly plagued by junk fax calls late at night. I have tried
getting through to the companies concerned but they are invariably on high-cost
premium rate lines. I want revenge! I'm looking for a PC fax program (or a fax
machine) that I can configure to work very slowly – preferably taking an hour
or so to receive a fax -- so that it will cost the company sending it a small
Russell, via email
I sympathise with John Russell's desire for revenge against the fax spammers, a
simpler solution is to register with the Fax Preference Service. Under the
terms of the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999,
it is unlawful to fax to an individual unless you have their prior
consent. The Fax Preference Service enables you to register your
objection to receiving direct marketing faxes. You can register with the
FPS online at http://www.dma.org.uk/, and
I can confirm that it is effective, although it might take a little while for
the volume of junk faxes to decrease.
Instead of printing faxes, why not subscribe to an
email fax service such as Demon's D-Fax. You have a dedicated number and
faxes arrive as email attachments. You can decide whether or not to open them.
Best of all you're not wasting fax paper. Obvious rubbish you can delete
without opening. Demon's D-fax service is,
I believe, free to subscribers, after a £20 set-up charge.
Russell should use a PC to receive his faxes. The junk faxes can then be
quickly viewed on screen and deleted without waste of paper or ink. He might
slow them down by setting his modem to a slow bit rate overnight but he
probably has better use for his time.
Brian Gilbert, Hampton, Middx
To slow down the Fax receipt/send rate on a Windows PC go to Start ->
Control Panel -> Modems -> Properties. If he looks at the Maximum
connection speed setting, he should be able to reduce it to about 110 and then
make sure the "Only connect at this speed" option is set.
Roy Venkatesh, Basingstoke
Does anyone know of a procedure or piece of software
for producing positive prints from scanned Kodacolor negatives? The 'invert'
command does not work as the negatives have a strong orange-coloured caste,
which is difficult to counter.
Fred Holmes, via email
Firstly Fred needs to be able to convert his
scanned Kodacolor negatives into a positive image - many packages will
allow this, Paintshop Pro for instance. Once he has his positive image then he
can use a program such as Color Pilot (US spelling) to fix the colour balance
and lightness. Color Pilot is a Shareware package that can be downloaded and
tested out before purchase. It can be downloaded from:
he is quick there is a free version on the cover CD-ROM on the June issue of
the .net magazine.
There was an article with detailed instructions in
the October 2000 issue of PC Plus magazine, with a program on the accompanying
CD-ROM. The article can be found at: http://www.pcplus.co.uk/article.asp?id=24388
anyone know of an electronic diary program with a search by keyword facility?
Bridges, via email
produces an electronic diary (for Windows) that can be searched by keyword, or
beginning of words, as well as by various other criteria (priority, category,
items assigned to particular individuals etc.). It also provides for
linking two or more entries, whether schedules, "to do" items,
telephone calls, addresses, notes or expenses. The diary can be printed in
several customised formats, including Filofax. Daytimer has produced paper
diaries in several formats for many years, and still does. My version dates
from 1997 and W95 (but runs quite happily under Windows 2000) so it's no doubt
even more versatile now. www.daytimer.com
Lotus Organiser has a very simple to use (Edit, Find) but
nonetheless powerful facility. It can also be used for finding any reference in
the other sections within Organiser (To Do, Address, etc.). I don't know
whether it is available separately from Lotus Suite as this is what I have
always used and judging by the amount
correspondence Microdaft Office generates, will continue to do so.
Does anyone know a bank that could collect moneys
from email customers?
There must be many people who have small cost items
for sale yet cannot sell on their web sites without
involving fees for implementing secure credit accounts that are
beyond most small businesses. At one time I could sell a painting at Uncle
Tom's Shop down the road and he would give me my money, less his percentage.
Why can't banks run a similar system?
Anne Dyson, via email
have recently been selling some things on Ebay the Internet auction site and
several people from overseas (USA, Japan and Switzerland) have purchased items.
The problem comes when paying for small items, the bank charges are just too
high and the service is confusing which puts lots of people off. But Help was
at hand! someone told me about "PayPal" which does exactly what you
are asking, I opened an account with them last week and it has been great!
Anyone with an email address can send you money and vice-versa, and the costs
are far less than any of the banks. The only slight problem is that it is in US
dollars, (it obviously is changed to sterling when transferred into you bank
is also a similar UK system called "Nochex" that I have also just
opened an account with where all transactions are in sterling. There is a
strong emphasis on security with both systems, you don't see the other persons
financial details and they don't see yours. You are notified instantly via
email as soon as you have been paid so the goods can be sent straight out. Plus you can manage your account online 24hrs a day, frankly its an excellent way to do business and means that I can take credit card payments from anyone in the world (who has email of course) It is excellent! The links are www.paypal.com
(make sure you open an international account) and www.nochex.com
I am trying to help a colleague, who over many years has collated the
day-to-day actions of hundreds of RN Ships. The problem is that the initial
files were created on an Olytext machine (I presume a very early word
processor). I have been told that by saving the files on the Olytext machine as
ASCII files, we should be able to transfer them easily to a PC, but the PC
doesn't recognise the disk. Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can
overcome this? I have heard of a company that can transfer the files, but they
are asking for around £25 per page and these files could run into 2000+ pages.
Trevor Muston, via email
If the Olytext machine can be connected to a printer then
you can connect the Olytext machine to the PC with a suitable serial or parallel cable. You can then 'print' from the Olytext machine and capture the ASCII data on the PC by using
basic terminal program such as HyperTerminal.
Some years ago now I was asked to assist in transferring
text files from an Amstrad CPM system to an IBM compatible PC. The technique I used was to print
the files, as plain text, into an external buffer memory box. This
particular device had a capacity of 64K - various memory sizes were available -
and it had both serial and parallel input and output ports. Its original
purpose was to allow the rapid output of documents or files to external devices
like printers and plotters, and to free up the PC for other tasks, and was
invaluable before the days of
Windows. It allowed our project planning users to send large plotfiles to
serial connected plotters without having to wait an age for the pen device to
make the drawing.
The device - I think made by ACULAB - worked on the first in first out
principle. When the output serial port was connected to the serial port of a
PC, I was able to use the Terminal program in Windows 3.1 to 'receive' the text file. Specific formatting, e.g.
bold underlining etc, was lost but the
technique worked for me. Nevill Mason, Duxbury, Chorley
a member of a society that deals with the English Civil War period. I have an
excellent 17th Century typeface from Crazy Diamond, which allows me to write in
the style of the time, but the pictures are causing me a problem. I want to
take a photograph and convert it into something approaching a woodcut or
engraving. I am not trying to satisfy academic purists, but merely trying to
provide a compatible illustration to go with the words. I could do a drawing to
be scanned in, but my hand is not good enough. Can anyone help?
Charles White, via email
have used a Serif applet called PhotoPlus for some years now. I am not sure whether this or a later version is still available, but in
addition to some basic editing tools it will apply the following effects to a
photo: Charcoal drawing, Mosaic, Emboss, Posterise, Randomise colours (why I
don't know), Negative, Grey scale, Sepia, Highlight/shadow, Solarise,
Pixellise, Sharpen, Smooth, Remove noise, and Monochrome.
need, ideally, to run a spreadsheet (Excel) with all my stocks and shares
listed on it, and be able to download (off the net) daily or more often prices
so it can update automatically. Can this be done without getting tied up with a
portfolio with an on-line company, and having to be registered with a supplier
of said prices?
Chris J Catton, via email
easier way would be to purchase a copy of the many financial applications, the
majority of which have this facility already set-up. I would recommend MS
Money 2000/2001 (2002 out soon??), you just need the "code" for the
respective company, fill in all the necessary details, and you track the share
price to your hearts content. It can be setup to check periodically and
automatically via a financial website (quotes supplied by Standard & Poor's
Comstock and delayed about 20 minutes).
CAN YOU HELP?
a recent trip to South Africa I visited a delightful seaside village called
Pater Noster, which I knew to be the opening words of the Latin version of the
Lord's Prayer. A trinket shop in the village had on view a poster divided into
about 24 panels, each depicting the Lord's Prayer in a different language.
Unfortunately the poster was not for sale. Having arrived home I decided to
produce, as a computer exercise, a booklet containing as many different
versions of the panels on the poster as possible. Being a complete novice, can
anyone direct me to a source, or sources of the Lord's Prayer on the Internet
in as many different foreign languages as possible?
Quinlan, Verwood Dorset
I was wondering if anyone can suggest a site to
download a program to play Backgammon solo. The ones I have tried do not adhere
to the basic rules or blatantly bend the laws of dice probability, i.e.
throwing six doubles back to back when the computer is in a loosing position.
This is driving me crazy.
C. I. Cox, via email
I would like to produce static geometric images
similar to those one could generate with Spirograph, or even the intriguing
patterns of fractal geometry. Does anyone know of such a program?
Ian Thomas, Gwynedd
have recently taken out a Flexible Mortgage with a Building Society. Does
anyone know of a program that can track the progress of the mortgage? It would
have to be able to cope with overpayments, underpayments, payment holidays,
lump sump payments, changes in interest rates etc.
Hassell, via email
Does anybody know of a
site that will enable me to keep track of the value of my ISAs? The site
would need to be able to factor in the fact that I make monthly payments into
each of my ISAs.
James Watson, via email