Houston We Have a Problem… 032 01/05/07


Picture Storage Problem?

Is there any limit to the number of pictures I can store in Picasa on my PC? I already have well over a thousand.

Keith Drake, by email


For anyone who still doesn’t know about Picasa, it is quite simply the best way to view, manage, edit, print and email your digital photos. It’s free and you can download it from http://picasa.google.com/.


Picasa’s development team tested it up to 250,000 images without incident and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory used Picasa 1 to store more than 900,000 pictures. Apparently it did run into a spot of trouble at or around the 500,000-image mark when the single file used to store thumbnail images exceeded the 4Gb limit that used to exist in earlier versions of Windows. There may well be an upper limit but I really don’t think you need to worry about just yet…



Windows XP Slow To Boot

My eight-month old PC is now very slow compared to when it was new. When starting up it takes several minutes before the hourglass disappears and I can use it. 

Michael J Randall, by email


The original ‘Design Goal’ for Windows XP was for it to be in a useable state 30 seconds after switch on; dedicated tweakers have achieved start up times of less than 10 seconds. Back in the real world only brand new PCs are ready to use in under a minute and a steady increase in boot up time and shutdown problems is quite normal. However, I wouldn’t expect it to become really annoying after only 8 months, unless your machine is exceptionally well used and you have been installing and uninstalling a lot of software.


Slow booting is usually caused by a build-up of programs and ‘services’ that launch with Windows, most of which are a complete waste of space and sap your PC’s resources. With a little judicious pruning you can probably shave a minute or two off the start-up time, but I warn you it can be a bit of a palaver. There’s a simple step-by-step guide in Boot Camps 355 – 357, which you will find in the Archive on the Daily Telegraph website at: http://tinyurl.com/2z9vrd.


The alternative is to set aside half a day, backup all of your essential data, wipe the hard drive then re-install Windows and all of your applications, and for a while at least, it’s like having a new PC.



Where’s the Bar?

I have recently changed my ISP and since then I have lost the indication that an email has actually been sent. I used to get a moving bar in the bottom right hand corner. Can you tell me how to restore it please?

Edward Parker, via email


ISP installation software often mess things up and add unwanted ‘branding’ and logos to your browser or change your home page. The Outlook Express problem should be easy to fix, just go to View > Layout and under Basic check the item ‘Status bar’.


To remove most types of ISP branding in Internet Explorer all you have to do is go to Run on the Start menu and type: ‘rundll32 iedkcs32.dll,Clear’ (without the quotes) then reboot.



Removing Credit Card Details from Firefox

I use Mozilla Firefox and among my Bookmarks is a site from which I have occasionally purchased goods with credit card. This website brings up my card number etc. as soon as I start typing.  I do not like the thought that these details are buried in my computer for someone to access. Can this be disabled?
B. Martin, by email


It’s possible your credit card number is being kept by the actual website though it is more likely it’s a ‘helpful’ feature in Firefox that stores entries typed into web pages. To switch it off go to Tools > Options and select the Privacy tab. Under History deselect ‘ Remember what I enter in forms and the Search bar’, then under Private Data check ‘Always clear my private data when I close Firefox’, then click OK.




Word Too Clever By Half

My PC is driving me nuts.  When trying to type out various lists, which include numbers or dates, Word puts in the next number when I press Return when I don't want that one.  It often decides where I should be indenting when I don't want to and sometimes I find it impossible to get it right. Any bright ideas?
Peter Tame, by email


A. When Word does something you don’t want the quick and easy fix is to use the ‘Undo’ keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Z, and this works in most Windows programs. By the sound of it your problems are due to Word’s Autocomplete feature. I would start by switching off the List option by going to Tools > AutoCorrect, select the AutoFormat as you Type tab and deselect ‘Automatic Numbered Lists’ (and Auto Bulleted lists… while you are at it). You should also deselect ‘Lists’ on the AutoFormat tab. If you want to take charge of the indents on numbered lists click Bullets and Numbering on the Format Menu, select the Numbered tab and then the Customise button and the indent setting is under Text position.



© R. Maybury 2007 0204


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