Houston We Have a Problem… 029 07/04/07
Out Of Office Automated Reply
In my office I use Microsoft Outlook, which has an ‘Out of Office’ reply
facility. At home I use Outlook Express, does it have a similar feature?
Palmer, by email
but there are a couple of provisos. Firstly your PC has to be left running and
connected to the Internet. It’s not a problem if you are going to be away from
your desk for a few hours but it’s probably not a good idea if you are going to
be away for more than a day or so. Secondly your automated replies will be
received by spammers and people who you may not want to know that you are away
you are happy with that then begin by creating your automated reply message.
Click on New Mail, type in the text of your message, something like 'Sorry I'm away from my desk until …'. Next
go to the File menu then Save As, give your reply message a name and save it in
a location of your choosing. Now go to Tools > Message Rules > Mail and
click the New button. In the first box select 'For All Messages', in the second
box choose 'Reply With Message' and in the third box click on the underlined
Message and direct it to your reply email. Click OK and it's done.
Down in the Mouth
I work in a small private dental practice and we need a
camera to take pictures of our patient’s mouths. Kodak makes a specialist range
of equipment but it is very expensive and we only need to use it about three
times a week. We recently trialled a
Fujipix digital camera with a macro mode but for some reason it doesn’t take
good close-up pictures of teeth. Can you suggest anything?
Rankin, Babbacombe Dental Surgery
is a little out of my jurisdiction and I welcome alternative suggestions from
experts but I suspect that you were on the right lines with a camera that has a
decent macro facility. However, my guess the main problem is lighting, in which
case a gadget called an LED ‘Ring Light’ (http://www.srelectronics.com/), might
help. This fits around the lens barrel and provides a bright close-quarters
light suitable for use in a confined space.
Capture Still Images
mistakenly took several shots in movie mode on my new digital still
camera. Is there any way I can retrieve
the opening frames and save them as still images?
Yes but the quality won’t be as good as a normal digital still due to
the lower resolution and motion blur. Open Windows Movie Maker (Start >
Programs > Accessories), which bundled with XP. Import your movie file then
use the Play/Pause button in the Preview windows to find the frame you want to
capture and click the Camera icon. This saves the chosen frame as a JPEG image.
Older versions of Windows Media Player (prior to version 11) also have a still
capture facility (keyboard shortcut Ctrl + I).
Time For A Change
The time and date on my PC is wrong every day. I can reset
it but it will be incorrect the next time I switch it on. Do you have any
Brian J S Gunn, Orsto
The battery that keeps your PC’s internal clock ticking
when it is switched off has expired. They normally last three or four years,
sometimes longer, but when flat the clock becomes erratic or reverts to a date
like January 1st 2000. You may also see a ‘Bad Checksum’ message on the screen
immediately after switch on. The small button cell battery fits in a holder on
the motherboard, though on some older models it can be soldered in place. These
batteries are inexpensive, typically £2 or £3 and replacement should be fairly
straightforward but access to the battery holder may be blocked by the power
supply module or a forest of cables so if you are not comfortable about poking
around inside your machine leave it to the experts.
Return to Vendor
We recently bought an Advent laptop but when we attempted to connect it
up to the printer we found one was already listed, which we had not installed.
The supplier was unable to offer an explanation because the computer was sold
to us as brand new. Have you any ideas as to how this situation could arise?
Also we are unable to put the laptop on standby mode even though we have
attempted to restore the computer to a pre-purchase date.
Nic Taylor, by email
It seems clear that the PC has been previously used. This suggests that the
vendor is not being completely honest with you, or has made a genuine mistake
and this machine was a demo model or a customer return that found its way back
into new stock. The standby problem may be due to a fault – it may even be the
reason it was returned – but even if it’s not you have been sold a second-hand
PC and you should ask for your money back, a brand new replacement or a very
© R. Maybury 2007