OVER 2 YOU, 044 (23/08/01)
MS Publisher 98 can help produce decent looking
brochures and ads, but trying to convert the latter into files and
formats that can be used by the production departments of the various
magazines I advertise in, is a total nightmare. For a start most ad-departments
use Macs and programs such as Freehand, Page Maker etc. Mention Publisher, and
there's audible groans and barely concealed mad laughter on the other end of
the line. Does anyone know of a program, shareware, or set of
'tweaks' that will convert Publisher files into useable formats that other
computers can open and read?
Richard Hoppé, via e-mail
I use MS Publisher to produce advertisements…The best method to ensure
compatibility with not just other computer (including Macs), but with any
decent printing bureau, would be to buy Adobe Acrobat. This will install a
printer driver that will act just like a normal desktop printer, allowing you
to print any document from any printing capable program, and the resulting .PDF
(Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format) will be readable on any system, with
Adobe's FREE Acrobat Reader.
This will also allow them to see the file as it is intended, and will also
allow you to prevent them from making any amendments to your documents. Adobe
Acrobat is available from www.adobe.co.uk,
most software retailers or of course, we could convert your documents for you…
Jason Sheldon, Plexus Digital Solutions,
I haven't used MS publisher but do have a great deal of contact with Macs
and PCs in my day-to-day work. The main problem is getting a Mac to open a PC
format file. After fairly extensive searching I found a tool called TransMac
available from (www.asy.com) its extremely
cheap (and a free trial download is available) and has saved me on many an
occasion converting from on format to another. I'm 95% sure it will do what
Richard needs - i.e.: - save the file in MS Publisher (on the PC), open the
file in TransMac and save it onto a Zip/floppy/network as a Mac formatted file
then open this zip/floppy/network file (on the Mac) and hey presto...
Luke R Sanderson,
I have scoured the net for free software and
advice for writing scripts for TV drama. Does anyone know of such a thing?
Spencer May, via email
is one unmissable contact for new and aspiring scriptwriters and that is
to browse to http://groups.yahoo.com/ScriptHelpTools
and sign up to join the group. On joining you receive by return e-mail seven
pages of links to script formatting templates, example script download sites,
writer's reference sites and loads of articles about scriptwriting - superb,
and all free. The links are very comprehensive, but continually updated and
enlarged too, which saves you a lot of your time on the web that could be
better spent writing! You can also post your own
problems for discussion by the group, which has about 100 members ranging from
newbies to quite expert - another great advantage here is it has quite a
few UK based members, most of the scriptwriter sites thrown up by the search
engines are 100% American.
A Google search, using keywords 'Software Rough
Draft', will bring up a number of possible sites for downloading the sort of
program I think he is looking for, together with reviews of the program. One
such site is www.rocketdownload.com,
the program is freeware.
am very interested in installing solar powered heating and possibly electrical
systems in my home. Can it be done in our climate? Are there any web sites that
can help me to figure out the cost and practicalities?
Stevens, via email
Further to recent replies, much cheaper (even after Government subsidies)
and far more efficient than PV is still to use solar water heating systems. For
a list of suppliers have a look at the Solar Trade Association site: http://www.greenenergy.org.uk/sta/
PV has its uses but the investment required to manufacture them means that
supply is limited by production capacity, so price has remained high (remember
too that most of the manufacturers are oil companies!)
James Page C Eng,
My father has a hot-water system installed from: http://www.spectrum-energy.co.uk/
I organise our annual village fun run which now attracts over 500
runners. I record the runner's number and details on an Excel spreadsheet. Does anybody know of a way of capturing the time each runner takes by entering the runner's
number as they cross the finish line and then producing a results table for different ages/genders?
Steve Spillane, via email
Ilkley Computer Club have been producing the
results for the Ilkley Round Table annual fun run and road race since the late
1980's. We started by networking two BBC micros together, and then
progressed onto the PC. We currently use a program written in C by one of
our members, which runs from DOS. Details of the runners are entered
prior to the race, then a second part of the program takes over to time the
race and accept the finishers numbers, entered via the keyboard. Timings are
taken by clicking the mouse button. The times and finishers are matched,
the runners details are looked up in the database, and the results printed in
real time. After the event, we can produce any number of printed copies,
although in recent years we have published the results on the Internet, at www.ikley.org. We have had
many near-disasters, but have never failed to come up with the goods -
eventually. This year, however, disaster struck in the form of Foot and
Mouth, causing the event to be postponed.
Alan Drew, Treasurer, Ilkley Computer Club,
Like Derek Burgoyne (Over 2 You August 9th), I deal with
finishing times & positions in sailing. Unfortunately, computers do not
work very well in the rain (or spray from the sea!). My solution has been to
buy a digital dictaphone, which is wrapped in a plastic bag, used to take coins
to the bank. I start the recorder at a set time towards the end of the race,
suspend it round my neck and simply call out the numbers as they cross the
line. When everyone has finished I replay the results and as the number is
called out, the time since starting the recording is shown on the display. By
adding the race duration time before starting the recording, I have the finish
time for all competitors. These results can then be entered into a spreadsheet
or bespoke software and manipulated in whatever manner necessary.
MAC WAR GAMES
Does anyone know of any decent World War 2 Games for use with my iMac
computer with OS 8.5.1? All of the ones I have seen are all for the PC.
Garrick Bowyer, via email
There probably isn't any. Mac owners are a peace-loving lot and have
better things to do with their time and their PCs than playing daft games.
Andy Mitchell, Littlehampton, E. Sussex
I can thoroughly recommend Total War for the Mac, it is a brilliantly
well thought out strategy game with lots of different scenarios, including
several from Word War II, like Carriers at War, Panzer Battle and Rommel in North
Africa. Hours of fun! I bought
my copy in the US and I'm not sure if it's available in the UK but you can buy
it online from: http://www.ssgus.com/
S. L. Taylor. Via email
Have a look at the Mac World War website which is devoted entirely to war
games for the Mac and links to other related gaming sites. You can find it at: http://www.geocities.com/mac_world_war/
My father, age 83, has started to write his memoirs.
He has acquired a Brother LW 100 dedicated word processor, which he has been
using as a typewriter. I've persuaded him to let me help to check spelling and
grammar using the check facility on Word -- but the only way I can do it
is to scan his printed sheets! Tedious!! When I save his work to a disc
on the Brother my PC tells me that the disc needs formatting. When I put a
formatted disc into the Brother it tells me that the disc needs initialising. Brother
tell me that it is impossible to get these machines to talk to each other via
floppy but I feel sure that Dotcom readers can come up with a solution.
Steve Flegg, via email
I don't know how old this machine is, but as it
has a 3.5 in. floppy drive on it I may be able to help. Until recently I owned
a modern Brother 840ic WP, and this came with a floppy disc from Brother
providing conversion software to Word & other formats. Contact
Brother to see if this will work on his machine and if so whether they'll
provide a copy - if not, I still have access to it and can get a copy made for
of us 'wrinklies' are in a Lottery Syndicate. We have each selected an unvaried
line of 6 numbers. Is there a program which would enable lines that come
up with 3 (or more) winning numbers to be identified on input of the weekly
Hind, via e-mail
also run a couple of syndicates and have used a spreadsheet to check the
results each Saturday and Wednesday. We to have 40 members so I created a
spreadsheet in Excel that informs me when 3 or more numbers match on a
particular line. I would be only to happy to let Richard have a copy of this if
he were to drop me an e-mail and I will forward the spreadsheet on to him.
If Richard Hind has been unable to find a
commercial package to meet his lottery needs and would like to Email me, I will
do my best to write him a simple program.
L. J. Robinson,
I wrote a program in VB some time
ago, which will exactly answer Richard Hind's request for a
lottery-checking program. If
he would like to contact me by e-mail, I will send him a copy on floppy disk.
CAN YOU HELP?
am the General Secretary of a fairly large sporting organisation. One aspect of
my job is the taking of minutes at our quarterly Regional Meetings. If I take
an active part in the discussions I find that I sometimes miss making notes of
important points of view and of decisions taken. If, on the other hand, I
concentrate on taking notes I am unable to take any constructive part
in the proceedings.
Does any one know of any software, which will enable me to learn either
shorthand or some form of speedwriting? I have tried to get a volunteer (who
knows shorthand) to act as "minute secretary" but cannot persuade
anybody to do so.
Brian H Purnell, via email
anyone know of a website or CD-ROM, where I can search for plants and flowers using certain key words, such as shade, wet, flowering, perennial.
Preferably I'd like to get a list returned of plants that fit my search criteria along with a photo and short description.
Wright, via email
anyone help me find a program, which would help me produce sketches of the nude human figure? It could be a sort of artists crib book or
perhaps similar to one of those articulated wooden models of the human figure
you see in artists materials shops.
Murray Wren, via email
I have recently spent
many months designing a medical product, which I now am in a position to turn into a computerised system. I wonder whether there are sites that explain how to gain copyright, and where one can meet a business
partner/expert with sufficient expertise to take this project on.
David Hall, via email