Everio Files using Pinnacle 10
Rick. I currently operate with Windows XP and use Pinnacle Studio plus 10 for
video capturing and editing. However, I've just acquired a JVC GZ-MG77 hard
disk camcorder and to my horror discovered it has no DV in/out capability. Instead it writes media files via a USB
cable for editing via PowerDirector Express NE (which is greatly inferior to
there any way I can manipulate the PowerDirect files so that they can be edited
by Studio. I've tried 'til I'm blue in the face, but have got nowhere. Can you please help?
A. The MG77 and all of JVC’s
Everio range of hard disc camcorders record MPEG2 files but it’s a tweaked
proprietary format with the extension .mod and it’s true that not all video
editing packages can read the files. However, it didn’t take Pinnacle long to
crack the problem and from version 10.1 onwards Studio 10 has the capability to
import .mod files. The solution is to upgrade your software using the latest
patch (10.5.2) from Pinnacle, which includes .mod compatibility and a
number of other enhancements and fixes.
Hi, Rick, despite all the knocks that Bill Gates
gets, office and home life has changed immeasurably and we should be grateful
for the genius of him and his team that has pretty much standardised the
way we do things.
At least one thing puzzles me to this day, though. When new
software is installed - or a program behaves unexpectedly, why do we have to go
through the rigmarole of re-booting? Wouldn't it be nice if there were a
special key or bespoke button, which simply flushed out the sticky memory chip
and enabled one quickly to continue working?
Shall I just dream on - or was Bill working on this
idea before he announced his withdrawal from the helm of Microsoft?
A. I’m with you Hugh and I won’t hear a word against Bill,
though for a slightly different set of reasons. The PC has indeed changed all of our
lives, and mostly for the better, moreover sorting out computer and Windows
problems has kept me in gainful employment for more than 20 years…
Your ‘memory flush’ button
idea is a good one and I for one would be first in the queue, however, similar
ideas have been tried, and there are a number of utilities on the market that
purport to do something similar but none of the ones I have tried worked very
well. The trouble is PC programs do not work in isolation, they share system
processes and resources with Windows and other applications so when one piece
of software fails more often than not it leads to a cascade effect that brings
down the whole system, and the only solution is to reboot.
Copying Files to Memory Stick
Rick, what am I doing wrong? I’m not having any
luck transferring work onto a memory stick. I highlight files to be copied,
press Ctrl + C to copy then Ctrl + V to paste the file but nothing appears on
the Memory Stick. I would be most grateful for any advice.
A. By the sound of it you are doing everything by the book but there are
a couple of things to check. The first and most obvious one is that the Memory
Stick isn’t in protected mode. Flip the stick over and make sure the little
switch, just below the row of contacts, isn’t in the ‘Lock’ position. If the
stick is unlocked the next thing to do is make sure it has been properly
formatted, so right-click on the Memory Stick’s ‘Removable Disk’ icon in
Windows Explorer and select Format, and this will confirm the device’s capacity
and carry out a standard format, which prepares it for storing files.
Incidentally, be warned that any files on the stick will be erased. If the
format is successful try copying files again. If Windows cannot ‘see’ the disc,
or reports any sort of problem then it is likely that either the card reader or
the stick is faulty.
Express Keeps Changing Setting to 127.0.0.1
Rick, a friend of mine who lives in Spain is having trouble with her Outlook
Express server settings. Every time the email account is used, messages can be
sent but not received. This is apparently because the incoming mail server
keeps defaulting to "127.0.0.1" instead of
"pop3.telefonica.net". If the
server entry in Tools, Accounts, is changed to the correct pop3 entry, messages
can then be received.
time the account is opened the server has returned to 127.0.0.1 and must be
changed again before messages can be received. This is a very tedious procedure
and is driving her mad. Is there any way of getting the server to stay at its
A. Bear with me for a moment
if you're not into technical stuff but it's worth know that 127.0.0.1 is a PC's
internal 'address' or 'Localhost Loopback'. Put simply, rather than sending
incoming emails straight to Outlook Express, they're being diverted somewhere
else and nine times out of ten it's an email scanner attached to a virus
checker or an anti-spam filter. The solution is to go into the antivirus or
anti-spam program's setup menu and disable the email scanner utility, then go
to the program manufacturer's website and see if there's a fix or configuration
setting that will stop it happening.
Creating New Desktop Image
Rick - I have several high quality pictures saved as
Microsoft Office Document Image files. I want to use one of them as my
desktop picture. It of course cannot be done under the "My Pictures"
Picture Tasks. Or can it? I have saved it also as a TIFF File but
again "tasks" does not allow it. Any suggestion?
A. Windows 9x (95, 98, SE
& ME) can only use image files in the bitmap (*.bmp) format for desktop
‘wallpaper’ and background but from Windows XP onwards you can use GIFs and
JPEGs as well. In order to use your images you will need to convert them to
8bmp, *.jpg or *.gif format and the easiest way to do that is with an image
editing program, such as PaintShop Pro, Photoshop Elements etc, by opening the
image and using the SaveAs function to change the file format. There are also
freeware options if you have got an image editing program on your PC and one of
the best is Irfanview,
which can display and convert just about any type of image file. Once you have
prepared your image go to Display Properties (right-click desktop and select
Properties) , select the Desktop tab then use the Browse button to locate your
image file and click OK.
a Windows 98 PC
Rick, I have 2 PCs - an old 700 MHz running
Windows 98SE and a newer 2.6 GHz running Windows XP Home. With the
stopping of security updates for 98SE and the soon to be released
Vista, would the Microsoft licence allow me to purchase Vista for my new
PC and move the XP Home to my older PC?
This is not a licensing issue and you can install Microsoft Windows on any PC
you like, providing of course it meets the minimum technical specification.
However, I have to warn you that running XP on a 700MHz machine is not a good
idea. It should run but it will be painfully slow, probably even slower than
your old Windows 98 installation.
Just because Microsoft has
withdrawn paid-for support and security updates for Windows 98 doesn’t mean it
will stop working, or you should stop using it. Provided you have a good
firewall and anti-virus software the threat from new viruses and exploits is
now very low, as the virus writer’s attention has turned to XP and Vista.
my cursor keeps dancing around on the screen, you go to point at an item and
the cursor has gone elsewhere, very awkward when playing a game. I have
uninstalled the driver and reinstalled with no change. Any idea what I can try
to stop it?
A. It’s been a while since anyone has called me Sir,
I could get to like it… Anyway, mouse drivers rarely cause problems and in the
olden days -- three or four years ago -- I would have been on fairly safe
ground to suggest that you turn the mouse upside down, twist the release cap so
you can take out the ball then clean the gunk off the rollers inside with a
Nowadays most mice are optical or cordless or both
and that’s a whole new ball game so the first things I would check are the battery -- if it has one -- and the mouse
mat. Some optical mice hate shiny or patterned surfaces. Next, if the mouse is
wired to the PC make sure the cable isn’t running close to a strong source of
interference, low voltage desk lights are can be a real nuisance. If it’s a
cordless mouse the erratic behaviour is probably due to interference from other
nearby cordless or wireless devices. There are so many of them these days, if
you are living in a terraced house or flat it could even be coming from next
door’s wireless mouse or keyboard. There’s no easy solution, all you can do is
check around for other devices and try moving them away from the immediate
vicinity. Finally, if all else fails, buy a new mouse, preferably one with a
wire, they’re much less trouble…
Java Not Working In Firefox
Hi Rick, I recently installed
Firefox and am very happy with it, but I am unable to get anything requiring
"Java" to work correctly. Internet Explorer works OK.. Is there a simple solution?
Basically there are four possibilities: Java is not installed, it’s installed
but it is not enabled, it’s installed but it is not working or it is being
blocked by your Firewall.
Java is installed in Firefox by default but it may be
switched off so check that first by going to Tools > Options > Content
and make sure that ‘Enable Java’ is ticked. If not check the box and restart
Firefox. If it is checked then try re-installing it and you’ll find the instructions
in this Mozillazine
Knowledgebase article. Finally,
switch off your Firewall and see if that makes a difference, if so check the configuration
to make sure it’s not on the list of blocked applications.
Quicken 98 Registration Code
Hi Rick, I’m hoping for some help on how to install
Quicken on to my home computer. I have a Windows XP at home and I have
taken a Quicken Deluxe V5 CD so I can have all the company accounts on my home
computer, however after I installed, I used it about 10 times and then it came
up with wanting a software registration number before I can continue to
use. I have found a Quicken 98 version (on ebay!) but after contacting
the seller he said he had also found out that after installing, it can be used
24 times and then wants a software registration number. I am stuck as to
what to do, I desperately need this quicken for my work. Any ideas?
A. Quicken 98 does bluster about the
lack of a registration code but there’s a little-known workaround. When it
closes down for the last time re-open the program, click Close again, then
re-open, and you may have to do this several times, after which it will open
and run normally another 24 times and you can keep on doing this indefinitely.
Baffling Hard Drive Specs
would like some help in upgrading my computer. I'm running Windows ME at the
moment and have just bought the upgrade to XP as Microsoft and ZoneAlarm no
longer support ME. As I only have a small hard drive (my computer is a 5 year
old Mesh with a 1Ghz CPU) I would like to buy a larger one but the spec.
is baffling me. I don't want to order a drive that is not compatible with my
Asus motherboard. My present drive is a Maxtor 30GB ATA-100 EIDE. Your
advice would be most welcome.
A. I agree hard drive specs
can appear confusing but it’s really not as bad as it looks. There are
basically two ‘internal’ hard drive ‘standards’ in common use. They are SCSI
(Small Computer System Interface) and ATA/IDE, (Advanced Technology
Attachment/Integrated Drive Electronics). SCSI is an old standard, it’s still
in use but very rarely used on PCs these days, which means most PCs, including
yours -- as you can see from the model designation -- uses an ATA/IDE type
have been numerous improvements and enhancements to the ATA/IDE standard but
for the most part these are concerned with the way data is moved into and out
of the drive and doesn’t affect connectivity so new drives are compatible with
older motherboards, and vice-versa, though for maximum performance the
capabilities of the motherboard should match those of the drive.
your case you are looking for an IDE/EIDE (Enhanced IDE) drive and any other
enhancements (Ultra ATA, UDMA ultra Direct Memory Access, faster spin speeds --
7200rpm is the current average etc.), are just icing on the cake, though as I
said the performance gains are likely to be small and only achievable on a
carefully matched motherboard.
would opt for a drive with at least 180Gb capacity, more if you can afford it
or plan to use a lot of space hungry applications, like video editing and so
on. By the way some older motherboards have HDD size limitations but these can be overcome using third-party utilities.
The only thing to watch out for is that a growing number of new drives use
the increasingly popular SATA (Serial ATA) connection system but they’re
clearly labelled as such and easy to differentiate as the standard IDE
interface has a 40-pin connector whereas the SATA data connector is much
smaller with only 7 pins. SATA drives also have different power connectors
(15-pin, compared with the 4-pin connector used on ATA/IDE drives.
One final point, whilst XP
will run with an 1GHz processor I fear it will be at a fairly leisurely pace,
and you will also need at least 512Mb and preferably 1Gb of RAM for comfort.
I’m wondering if it’s not time to think about a replacement, getting your
current PC up to spec will probably cost you as much as a new one and there are
some incredible deals on offer at the moment.
Not Enough Room For Emails
Rick, can you help with a problem that is driving me nuts. I am getting
incoming mail not being delivered because I am being told that I have
insufficient space. When I delete items in my inbox, outbox, sent items
etc it makes no difference to the size of the relevant .dbx files. If I
look at these files in C:\OEStore they remain the same size although the
"date modified" records the altered time correctly. I think I must be missing something simple but at the moment I can't for
the life of me figure out what it is.
A. Whilst there
is a theoretical limit to the number of emails the OE inbox can hold (around
10,000) I suspect that you are nowhere near that and the warning message you
are seeing is actually coming from your ISP. If I’m right then it’s your
mailbox on the server PC that’s overflowing, probably because OE is leaving a
copy of your messages on the server computer. You can check if this is the case
by going to Tools > Accounts, click on your email account then the
Properties button and select the Advanced tab and under Delivery make sure that
‘Leave a copy of messages on server’ is unchecked (unless this is something you
want to happen).
You can delete the messages on the server by checking the
‘Leave a copy’ option again and checking the box ‘Remove from server after…’
and set the ‘Days’ to 0 and click OK. Don’t forget to uncheck ‘Lave a copy…’
when you’ve finished. Alternatively you can get into your mail server using a
webmail service like www.mail2web.com and this will allow
you to see what’s stored on the server, before you delete it.
Cassette to PC
Hi Rick - I check
out your site most days. I have a lot of music cassettes. Is there a nice and easy way of getting them
on to my external Lacie 250 GB hard drive please? I have a half decent mains cassette tape player.
A. Always happy to help a regular and yes, you can
copy your cassettes, reel to reel tapes, LPs, 45s even old 78s to your PC, and
then on to your external drive. In fact if it has an audio output you can
capture it. There’s lots of different ways to do it but for my money you can’t
beat a program called Audacity, and talking of money, it’s free. Have a look at
Boot Camp 276, which deals with the connection side of things, and Boot Camp
362, which focuses on Audacity.
Cannot Get Rid of
Hi Rick, I have
been visiting your site for some time and would like to ask for your help with
my problem. When a program sticks and the only thing to do is
Control-Alt-Delete the box comes up with no blue bar along the top. I can
End Task but am then left with the Task Manager box and no way of closing it
and have to shutdown and reboot. Can you help me with this?
A. No problem, and my guess
is you have enabled an obscure feature in Task Manager called ‘Tiny Footprint
Mode’. Basically it makes the menu bar and tabs disappear, for no good reason
that I can see but once engaged it makes it difficult, if not impossible to
close. Fortunately there’s an easy way to get everything back, simply double
click the mouse in the empty space next to the End Task button and everything
should be back to normal. It’s a toggle action so double click again and the
menus vanish again.
StarWriter Discs to a PC
Hi Rick, I have a number of StarWriter discs I wish to transfer to
my PC. I have tried doing it via the floppy drive but the result is always a
load of gobbledegook. Any Ideas?
A. The Canon StarWriter all-in-one word processor/printer was
quite popular in the late 80s and early 90s and a lot more convenient than the
PCs and laptops of the day. Unfortunately it used a proprietary filing system
and discs cannot be read, at least not directly, by a PC. If you still have a
working StarWriter or can track one down (they turn up on ebay from time to
time) then you can try loading and then resaving the documents on a PC
formatted disc as plain text files. Failing that a file conversion utility
called WinConv should do the
trick. This handles a wide range of old and obsolete file formats, including
those used by Canon’s Starwriters. However, this is commercial software and it
will cost you around £40. A free trial version with limited functionality is
available but this should tell you if it’s worth shelling out for the full
Fonts in Word Documents
Rick, how can I embed "O Type" and "True Type"
(Multinational, Wingdings) fonts in MS Word 2002 documents so that they will be
read properly on any PC even, if these fonts are not installed?
It can be done, however there are a couple of ifs and buts. Firstly you can
only embed TrueType fonts in Word documents, and second the font designer must
have made the font ‘embeddable’.
There’s one other point to bear in mind and
that is when you embed a font you increase the file size, and this can be quite
significant if, for example you want to send it by email. On the second point,
as to whether or not a font is embeddable I suggest downloading a Microsoft
Shell Extension called Font
Properties. It gives you lots of additional info about
a font, including its embedding features, if you right click on a font file
icon in Windows Explorer (C:\WINDOWS\Fonts) and select Properties (click the Features
Now back to Word, and to embed a font in a document go to Tools >
Options and click the Save tab. Check the item ‘Embed TrueType Fonts; you can
save a little file space by checking the item ‘Embed characters in use only’,
click OK and save your document as normal.
Views Won't Stick
Rick, I use Paint Shop Pro7 in a PC and a laptop, both running Windows XP
(SP2). With the laptop, when opening an image file folder the view menu always
opens to 'Thumbnails' and defaults to this every time it is used. I cannot find
a way of getting it to stay on "list", which is what I prefer. With
the PC, if 'List' view is selected, it is stays there as default. The same
software was installed on each computer, so why they behave differently remains
a mystery to me.
A. I'm sure you've tried
this but just in case the proper way to make an Explorer 'View' stick is to
choose the view then go to View > Folder Options > View tab and click
'Like Current Folder' then click OK.
In case that doesn't work then the next
place to look is the Registry, where there is a setting that limits the number
of changes you can make to Windows folder settings, which by default is set to
400. Don't worry, you don't have to go into the Registry to fix this problem, all you need to do is install one of my favourite utilities, called
For XP. Install the program then on the left hand directory tree go to
Explorer > Customisations and change the value to 500 or 1000 and see if
that does the trick.
DOES ANYONE STILL MAKE TAPE RECORDERS?
Hi Rick, I need help!
My father and his parents communicated via mini reel-to-reels for close
to 20 years before switching to cassette tapes. I have around 100 tapes containing valuable family history but am
hitting a brick wall. I have 2
players: Craig 212 and a Sharp
RD-305. The Sharp plays but when I
string up a tape it comes across at the
wrong speed....talking vvveerrry slowly.
The black wheel on the Craig seems to be stuck and won't move.
I am transferring the cassettes to my PC to make into
CDs for the family. I am a little pressed
for time because my uncle has been diagnosed with Type 4 cancer and I'd like to
surprise him with this...only thing that I can do to feel like I am helping him
out. Does anybody make brand spanking new mini reel-to-reels? What are your suggestions?
small handful of specialist reel-to-reel tape recorders are still being made
and needless to say they are eye-wateringly expensive. The alternative is to
buy a second-hand 70’s or 80’s machine from ebay. The best ones were built like
brick outhouses and still have plenty of life left in them. There are plenty to
choose from, including many superb models that can outperform many of today’s
hi-fi components. Brands like Akai, Revox, Sony and Teac are worth looking out
for and shortlist machines that have been refurbished or come with a guarantee.
You should be able to pick up something fairly decent for between £100 and
As for the speed problem, my guess is the tapes were
recorded on small rim-drive machines, where the reels, but not the tape runs
at a constant speed. They play back okay on the machine they were recorded on
but if played on a ‘capstan drive’ recorder there will be a very noticeable
change in pitch as the tape moves from one reel to the other. You should be able
to fiddle the speed and cancel out the worst errors using your computer’s
recording software but it’s quite a job.
And Monitor Colours
Dear Rick, I am now
the proud owner of a Canon IXUS 750 digital camera. I also have Paint Shop Pro
X on Windows XP and use an Epson Stylus R220 printer. After spending quite a
lot of time beautifying my pictures (?) I find there is a considerable
difference between the colours on the screen and the colours printed on the
paper. In this case more yellow and brighter. Please can you advise me? Is
there a method of balancing the colours between the screen and printer?
A. The basic problem is that your monitor builds an
image with light using the three primary colours (red green and blue) whilst
your printer creates images using coloured inks, (‘CYMK’ - Cyan, Yellow,
Magenta and blacK, sometimes more), and your eyes are the only common point of
reference, however, they react differently to your monitor and to printed
material. To being you should have a look at this free Monitor Calibration Wizard,
which will ensure that your monitor is set up correctly. For more information
there’s a useful primer on this thorny subject on the Signindustry website. It’s a bit high-end and technical in
places but it neatly outlines the problem and discusses the various techniques
involved n colour matching.
CLEARING A PC FOR SALE
Hi Rick, I am sure you have written about clearing an old
computer before passing it on to charity etc but can you give a link so I can
read how to take off all my data and clear the heard drive of my personal
A. We have covered this topic once or twice in the past
and to save you looking here’s the gist of the advice I usually give. First the
legal bit and the small print in the Windows End User Licensing Agreement
(EULA) and most other major software applications basically says you don’t own
them but are merely allowed to use them, so if you want to stay on the right
side of the law you should erase the drive on any PC you are selling or
otherwise disposing of. Apparently it is possible to transfer a Microsoft
licence to another user but I suspect it’s more trouble than its worth. Anyway,
the simplest way to ‘erase’ a hard drive is to reformat it, using an old
Windows 98 rescue floppy. This will boot the PC to DOS and at the flashing
prompt type ‘format :c’. Theoretically it is possible to recover data from a
formatted disc so if you want to do a really thorough job, with no possibility
of any data being found then use a freeware utility like Active KillDisk, which both erases and
overwrites data on the drive, excluding any possibility of recovery. The paid
for ‘Pro’ version goes one step further and wipes disc to comply with US military
CAN’T SHARE BROADBAND CONNECTION
Hi, Rick, well my problem started when I changed from
regular DSL broadband to cable broadband. When I had gotten the darn thing I
couldn't seem to get my wireless Netgear Router to work with it and now
that I have guess what? Only one computer can use the connection at a
time. I tried wireless and hard connection neither does the trick. I can
basically only use one laptop. I've spoken to the ISP and although they
reassure me that it's possible to get my kit to work, their solution is that I
call a specialist division for home networking at £1 a minute on the
phone. I can't find any real help on the web at all so this is one of my
last attempts before I reconsider my cable broadband.
A. Your ISP is right and it should be possible to share
your connection on two or more PCs through your Netgear router, so if it was
working before must have changed. I
suggest that you go back to square one and set up your network again, but start
with WEP encryption switched off. Use the Network Connection Wizard in Control
Panel and follow the prompts to the letter. If you run into problems try
running The Dude
on the PC(s) that is able to connect to the net. This little freeware utility
will map out the network connections and hopefully help you to pinpoint the