Houston We Have a Problem… 035 22/05/07
Motoring with a
I am considering
replacing my 17-inch CRT monitor with a flat-screen LCD model. However, we are
caravanners and I have noticed that you can now buy LCD TVs with a PC input. I
would appreciate your view on whether they are any good, or is it better to
keep the two things entirely separate?
John Daughney, Stockport
Normally I am a firm
believer in the old adage about Jacks-of-all-trades, but in this instance one
box is all you need. In fact why not go the whole hog and get one with a
built-in DVD player as well?
are a few differences between the LCD panels used in PC monitors and TVs. To
begin with most LCD TVs have widescreen displays, which is not a problem for
you, or Windows, but the maximum resolution on some of the cheaper models is
lower than an equivalent sized PC monitor. These are usually limited to 1024 x
768 pixels, and again it’s not a problem. If your PC is set up for the commonly
used 1280 x 1024 resolution it should automatically reconfigure itself. The
display won’t be quite as crisp and icons and program menus will look a little
larger than usual, but for everyday use – word processing, email, web browsing and
so on -- it’s hardly noticeable.
auditioning models keep an eye out for ‘bleed through’. I have seen this on a
couple of bargain basement models, where ghostly images of TV broadcasts can be
seen on a PC display, and vice-versa, when watching TV.
Upgrading to Vista
you please let me know how difficult it is to upgrade from Windows Millennium
Edition to Vista?
Hook, by email
My advice is don’t try it.
Windows upgrades rarely go smoothly and it is almost always quicker and easier
to start over, with a clean, freshly formatted hard drive. However, it is even
more difficult with Vista, which is much more demanding in terms of computer
hardware and I think it highly unlikely that your present PC will be a suitable
candidate. But why bother if it does everything that you want? When eventually
you replace it - - and that will probably be sooner rather than later if your
PC is more than five years old – Vista will be installed on the new machine.
Typing with a French
occasionally want to send emails in French. Can you tell me how to access
French accents on my Windows XP computer?
Bolton, by email
French, and indeed accents
for a variety of western European languages are accessible in any Windows
application, including Outlook Express, using some simple keyboard shortcuts.
All you have to do is hold down the Alt key and enter a three or four digit
code, however, you must use the numeric keypad (remember to press the NumLock
key first), rather than the numbers along the top of the keyboard.
Alt + 133 = à, 131= â, 135 = ç 130 = é, 138 = è. 136 = ê,
137 = ë, 140 = î, 139 = ï, 147 = ô, 151 = ù, 150 = û, 183 = À, 182 = Â, 128 =
Ç, 212 = È, 144 = É , 210 = Ê, 211 = Ë, 215 = Î, 216 = Ï, 226 = Ô, 235 =
Ù, 234 = Û. For French quotation marks « and » use Alt + 174 and 175, for the æ
and œ ligatures use 145 & 145 (upper and lower case) and 0156 and 0140.
All the Right MOVs
Your recent item on capturing single frames from a digital
camera movie using Windows Movie Maker seemed to be the answer that I had been
looking for, but unfortunately the movies taken with my Nikon Coolpix camera
have file type .mov, which is not supported by Movie Maker. Is there any way of
changing the file type to .avi?
Andrew Murray, by email
The .mov file format
belongs to Apple’s QuickTime player, which explains why it’s not supported by
the Microsoft. File conversion is an option but this normally involves some
loss of quality and a fair amount of messing around. There is an easier method,
though, and that’s to use an excellent freeware image viewer called Irfanview (http://tinyurl.com/yuxms7). This program
can display and play just about any type of still or video image file.
In order to play .mov files
Irfanview needs an extra piece of software so after downloading and installing
the program click on the ‘Plugins’ link and install that as well. When that’s
done play your movie and use the slider bar to locate the part of the recording
you want to capture. Click the pause button then use the forward and reverse
‘step’ buttons to find the specific frame. Click Copy, the image is displayed
in a separate window and you can Save the still in any one of 20 different
© R. Maybury 2007