Houston We Have a Problem… 020 27/01/07
MiniDisc to CD
have a music collection stored on MiniDisc mainly recorded from my hi-fi
FM tuner. Is there a simple means of transferring these recordings to CD?
Phillips, by email
on a MiniDisc is recorded using a proprietary compression format and there is
no easy way of converting it to the format used on audio CDs. In other words
you have to treat an MD player like a cassette deck or any other analogue
source component and connect the line output or headphone socket to the PC’s
line input socket. Use a program like Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/), to record and convert
the tracks into ‘Wav’ files then ‘burn’ your audio CD with Windows Media Player
(v10 or above) or an application like Roxio Media Creator or Nero.
can improve the quality of the recording if both your PC and MD player have
‘optical digital’ or SPDIF (Sony Philips Digital Interface Format) inputs and
outputs. This connection method bypasses the digital to analogue and analogue
back to digital conversion processes.
shall be spending much of the summer in France and would like to use my laptop
to connect to the Internet using a fixed phone line. Will it be necessary to
sign up with a new French ISP, or can I use my existing e-mail address but
without having to dial an international phone number.
Dean, by email
few Internet Service Providers have local rate dial-up numbers in other
countries, so it is worth checking with yours, otherwise a local ISP would be
the simplest solution, though if your laptop has a wireless adaptor you could
log on at a wi-fi ‘hotspot’ (see http://tinyurl.com/ttvqy) or failing that, collect
your email using an Internet café.
you can come to some arrangement with whoever is responsible for the phone
connection where you are staying? Otherwise there are a number of ‘free’ ISPs
in France, which provide Internet access for the cost of local or premium rate
calls but it helps to have a smattering of French to sign up. You will find a
list of free French ISPs at: http://tinyurl.com/y4fjsh
Backing Up Email Messages
recently suffered a second hard disk failure within ten months, I have yet
again lost all my emails and Address Book contacts in Outlook
Express. Could you tell me how to identify and back up the necessary
files, and also how to copy them back to Outlook Express, should disaster
Hamilton, East Knoyle
Express gives your email message folder an unfathomable name and squirrels it
away deep inside a System folder. I rename and move my Message Store folder as
a matter of routine, to make it more accessible and easier to backup. Here’s
how. In Windows Explorer or My Computer go to File > New > New Folder and
rename it ‘Oestore’ or something similar. Next, in Outlook Express go to Tools
> Options and select the Maintenance tab. Click the Store Folder button then
Change, Locate your newly created Oestore folder and click OK.
all of your messages have been moved to the new Oestore folder you can copy it
to a CD or a removable drive. If you ever need to recover your messages use the
Import function on the Outlook Express File menu. Your Address Book is stored
in a ‘wab’ (Windows Address Book) file in C:\Documents and
Settings\<yourname>\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book. Copy the
file to your backup drive or better still, Export it as a text file. Open
Outlook Express and go to File > Export > Address book, select ‘Text File
(comma separated value)’. Click the Export button, give the ‘csv’ file a name
and use the Browse button to save it in the location of your choice. If you
ever need to recover it in Outlook Express go to File > Import > Other
Address Book and use the Browse button to select your address book csv file.
recently put some of my digital photographs onto a CD and took this to a local
shop so that they could make a calendar. I had played the CD back on my PC so I
knew the pictures were on the disc, however the shop told me that they could
not read it and that they thought it was due to the Adobe Elements program. Is
this the real problem? If this is the case how can I get around it?
Alllen, Sidmouth Devon
guess is you saved your images in the Adobe PhotoShop Element’s *.psd file
format, though I am a little surprised that the people in shop couldn’t be
bothered or didn’t know how to open or convert the files. To avoid this
happening again save your picture files in the industry standard JPEG format,
which is almost certainly the same format that your camera uses to record the images.
is one other possibility and that is your CD wasn’t ‘finalised’. This is
necessary in order to make the disc readable on any PC CD/DVD drive. Check the
Help section of the software you are using to create the CD for more
have downloaded the Google search toolbar from the Google website but I don’t
like it and want to get the “normal” Internet Explorer one back. How can I do
Shirt, by email
you have to do is uninstall the Google Toolbar and Internet Explorer will
revert to its previous state. Simply click the Settings icon on the Google
Toolbar then Help and Uninstall and click the ‘Uninstall Google Toolbar button.
© R. Maybury 2007