Houston We Have a
Problem… 013 02/12/06
Surfing In Australia
the next few weeks I will be travelling to Australia for a three-month stay. I
will be taking my laptop with me and I want to be able to stay in contact by
email, how can I do this? I have home broadband, should I leave the ‘hub’
switched on whilst I am away?
White, by email
If you haven’t already done so familiarise yourself with
your laptop’s wireless Internet and network setup. If you have a dial-up
account check to see if there’s a connection number for Australia as this could
prove useful if you are visiting any really out of the way places. Find out if
you can what sort of connections will be available to you during your visit and
if they include Ethernet and dial-up then make sure you pack suitable cables
wouldn’t hurt to do a dry run before you leave and practice setting up a
wireless connection at a local wi-fi ‘hotspot’. You may need to briefly switch
off your Firewall or virus checker to make the connection but once you are
online switch them on again straight away.
let your defences drop when you are travelling. Keep your laptop in view all of
the time, enable BIOS and Windows password security and encrypt any
sensitive or personal data. Once you are in Oz and you have an Internet
connection up and running you should be able to access your messages
through your normal email program, though you can sometimes run into difficulties
with settings and protocols, in which case try the free webmail
service www.mail2web.com. All you
need to do it tap in your email address and password. You can also use it
in Internet cafes and public Libraries with web access if you can’t get
connected through your laptop. Switch off your home system while you are away,
it will just be wasting electricity. Incoming emails will be stored on your
ISP’s server computer until you download them onto your PC.
Safety in Numbers?
Windows 98 still reasonably secure from hackers now that Microsoft no longer
Lucas, by email
is true that older versions of Windows are less prone to virus attack because
no new ones are being written and those still in circulation should be picked
up by anti-virus software. However, hackers try to gain access to your PC
through your Internet or network connection and by exploiting security
loopholes -- old and new -- so you need to maintain your defences and make sure
you have a good Firewall installed.
Redundant Email Account
would be grateful for your advice as to how to cancel a previous e-mail
address, which is receiving vast amounts of spam messages. I am able to control
it to some extent by deleting before opening but would really like to loose the
Brandon, by email
problem, in Outlook Express go to Tools > Accounts. Select the Mail tab then
click on the redundant account name. If you want to delete it click the Remove
button; if you just want to stop using it click the Properties button and on
the General tab uncheck ‘Include this account when receiving mail…’.
Video on the Web
I would like to send video clips over the Internet to
relatives and friends. A number of sites, such as Google Video, offer the
facility to upload movies into a free archive, which can then be accessed by my
intended recipients. I have 2Mb broadband which is adequate for downloading but
has proved much too slow for uploading video clips. At about 18kb/s, as displayed
during upload, it takes over an hour to send a 2-minute clip.
I have heard DivX can compress a DVD to fit onto a CD
without loss of quality. Could I use this to speed uploading, or do you have
any other suggestions?
Ron Coleman, by email
a long shot but it could just be that the site/the web/your ISP’s server was
exceptionally busy when you try to upload your movie. If it really is only
18kb/s then there is something drastically wrong and as good as DivX is, it
cannot solve your problem. However, before you start fiddling with settings you
should carry out a ‘speed’ test by going to: www.speedtest.bbmax.co.uk/ and www.adslguide.org/tools/speedtest.asp,
upload speeds and if the latter is much below 200kb/s (most ISPs quote 256kb/s
for a 2Mb broadband connection) you should contact your ISP’s technical
I have recently upgraded my Windows ME PC to XP.
Connectivity is now a problem and will only allow 5 minutes online before it
closes down. I have also lost Word and Microsoft Works and the printer stops
after about 4 lines have been printed. Norton Anti-virus was installed on
ME but has been un-installed leaving my PC vulnerable and
confused. Can you help?
Windows upgrades rarely work properly. Problems with the
earlier system, not to mention viruses and malware can be carried across to the
new setup. There are limitless opportunities for software conflicts and it is
almost impossible to fix faults, which more often than not are multiple in
nature and have a tendency to cascade.
I would call it day. Backup all of your irreplaceable
files, format the hard drive and carry out a clean installation. If you are
using an XP Upgrade disc you will be asked to briefly load a full retail copy
of Windows 98, SE or ME for a validation check, otherwise it proceeds just like
a normal XP installation. Even with all the inconvenience of re-installing your
applications I promise you it will be a lot quicker than trying to troubleshoot
a flaky upgrade.
© R. Maybury 2006