FACTS! FAX! 381 (16/09/03)
Recently I found that my modem has a problem and decided to
take the top off my machine, which is rather old. Lo and behold the modem looks
nothing like the ones in places like PC World -- the connectors are small and
pin-like whereas everything on sale has a long strip connector -- and so this
gives me a bit of a problem.
Your modem is almost certainly integrated into the
motherboard and whilst it should be possible to get a new one it is simpler,
quicker and a whole lot cheaper to fit a new modem. A replacement internal
modems plugs into a spare expansion slot on the motherboard. Modems use either
an ISA or PCI slots; the former is usually coloured black and around half to
two-thirds the width of the motherboard. PCI slots are shorter and normally
grey coloured. Prices for internal modems start at under £10; they’re easy to
fit and should only take a few minutes to install. You will probably have to
disable the original motherboard modem from the PC’s BIOS program; the
procedure for accessing the BIOS program should be outlined in your PC’s
motherboard or operating manual. If you don’t fancy the idea of tinkering with
your PC’s innards or all of your expansion slots are occupied you can use an
external modem, which plugs into your PC’s Serial or USB port.
I have recently upgraded to an XP computer and transferred
most of my
files from my previous computer by moving the hard drive to the new computer
and copying data across. I have used the transfer wizard when required
and have experienced hardly any problems.
There are two niggling problems, however. I no longer hear my modem on dial
up. I have checked the networking settings and ensured that the modem
speaker is selected but dial-up is still silent.
The second is an intermittent problem. When I disconnect from Internet
explorer or from Outlook, sometimes the 'Do you wish to disconnect box'
doesn't come up, and I have to remember to disconnect using the task bar.
Barry J. V. Mead
It may be
that your modem doesn’t have an internal speaker, or its audio output is not
connected, in which case you won’t hear anything – your should refer to the
manual (if you have one) or ask the PC supplier for help. It’s possible that
another program is keeping the connection open, you can check this by disabling
any firewall, pop-up stopper programs or virus update programs you may have
running, also check that you are free of spyware and adware by installing
Adaware (download from: www.lavasoft.com).
Next check the settings in Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options
and select the Connections tab. Select your modem; click Settings then the
Advanced button. Make sure that the ‘Disconnect if idle…’ and ‘Disconnect when
connection may no longer be needed’ are both checked.
How can I delete programs, which are not listed in the
Add/Remove programs list and for which there are no uninstall files?
You should download and install the free Microsoft utility
Tweak UI, which has tool for deleting redundant Add/Remove entries. Tweak UI
for Windows 95/88/SE/ME/NT and 2000 can be found at: www.microsoft.com/ntworkstation/downloads/
I use WordPerfect 9 for word processing (to my complete
I use Outlook Express for e-mails. How can I install a spell
checker on Outlook Express?
The built in spellchecker in Outlook Express only works if
you also have Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Office or Works on your PC,
however there are number of third party freeware and shareware spellcheckers
for OE, have a look at the following web sites:
I have read that Ink Cartridges may be designed to appear
empty while still containing a significant amount of ink but that there is a
method of overcoming this problem. I have also seen advertisements of an Inksaver CD-ROM for just
under £30. Quite remarkable claims are made for the efficiency of this
software. I would be interested in any comments on both the above and if there
are effective ways of reducing the amount of ink used without either reducing
the quality of print or the software affecting the smooth running of my
A.Lewis, Rochester Kent
Programs that claim to reduce ink consumption usually work
by putting the printer in a type of draft mode; the reduction in quality varies
depending on the make and model of printer and on some types it can be quite
successful. However, this method doesn’t override the ink level monitoring
systems on some printers and ink cartridges, which tend to underestimate the
amount of ink remaining. On some printers simply removing and replacing the
cartridge resets the level meter, allowing you to run the cartridge until it is
empty. On others you can buy chip ‘reset’ modules or install software that
resets the cartridge or printer from the PC. Try typing the make and model of
your printer into Google’s search window, followed by the words ‘ink reset’ and
see what that brings up.
At the age of 88 I bought my first PC and as a complete
novice I used Google for the first two months to surf the net. I have recently
found that by clicking twice on the subject box I get a drop down list of all
the sites that I have visited. Whilst this not a great inconvenience I would
like to get rid of it. Deleting the temporary files that store Internet sites
and clearing history only works on Internet Explorer. Can you please tell me
how I can clear this list from my PC?
This information is stored in your browser. To delete it go
to the Tools menu in
Internet Explorer then Internet Options and select the Content tab. Click on
the AutoComplete button then Clear Forms.