FACTS! FAX! 016 (30/07/96)
read your reply to the question about the accuracy of PC clocks (FFF 9/7/96) with
great interest. This was concern for me until I discovered a shareware
application that connects the PC to an atomic clock. It’s free and very useful.
quite a few commercial and shareware programs of that type on the net. They work
by dialling up servers that carry data from atomic time clocks in scientific and
military institutions, mostly in the US. Once connected they allow Windows time
to be synchronised with the atomic clock. Most of these programs have a range of adjustments, to allow for
time zone differences, though not all of them can compensate for the varying delays
that occur in the different signal paths, taken by the data as it is sent over
the net. There’s no way of knowing if the connection to the remote server is by
land-line, satellite or microwave link, or more probably a mixture of all
three. In any case the Windows clock can only be set to an accuracy of +/- one
second. Once the PC goes off-line or the connection to the server is broken,
the Windows clock will revert to its old habits and drift. Nevertheless, if you’re
interested they’re well worth a few minutes of download time. There’s a good
selection of shareware clock applications on: http://tucows.phx.cox.com/softsync.html.
you tell me whether there are any CD-ROM dictionaries or encyclopaedias, that
can be used with my Acorn A5000 computer.
you’ve doubtless discovered there are very few CD ROM titles written
specifically for the Acorn A5000, and most of those are educational
applications for schools. However, an Acorn version of Hutchinsons Encyclopaedia
(1992 vintage) is available for around £50, and there’s the Kingfisher
Micropedia at £70, though this is aimed at a 7 to 15 year age range. Both of
them can be obtained from REM Software who can be contacted on (01458) 253636. A
company called IMS produce translation software, that enables Acorn computers
to play certain CD-ROMs. They currently have ‘readers’ for several Dorling
Kindersley products, including My First Incredible Amazing Dictionary (7-10 age
group), and The Children’s Dictionary. They also cater a number of Microsoft
titles, such as Dinosaurs, Musical Instruments and Ancient Lands. IMS tell us
they’re working on a reader for Encarta, though they’re having difficulty with
the video clips. They’re working in collaboration with Microsoft and hope to
have it ready early next year. Reader software costs between £10 to £15, over
and above the cost of the CD ROM. You can get more details on (0117) 9799979.
weeks ago my Motorola 7500 GSM mobile phone was stolen from my car, as luck
would have it I had removed the SIM card, so it couldn’t be used. A friend has
offered to led me her phone for a couple of weeks, until I can arrange to get a
new one. It’s a Nokia 2110, that uses a miniature SIM card. I understand I can use
my SIM card, to assign the replacement phone my mobile number, but this model uses
a miniature SIM card. I can press out the miniature SIM on my card, but can I put
it back when I replace my Motorola handset?
SIM card carries all your subscriber details and you’re right, if you use it in
another GSM phone it effectively becomes yours. Carefully remove the insert card
with a sharp knife or scalpel, making sure to cut the four plastic ribs flush
to the side of the mini SIM. When you get the new phone you can pop the mini
SIM back into place on the card, and be sure it is lined up correctly. To stop
it falling out hold it in position with a strip of sticky tape on the back.
Alternatively, you could use a SIM card adaptor, they’re available from most
cellphone dealers from around £10.