Houston We Have a Problem… 036 26/05/07
I wish to use my TV as a computer monitor when viewing
photographs (the TV has this capacity) but they are in separate rooms and I have
been unable to buy a connector cable of sufficient length. I need about 10
metres of cable and the longest I have found so far in shops is 1.8/2.0 metres.
Robin Macdonald, by email
Specialist PC monitor cables of up to 25 metres are
available, beyond that there would be a noticeable drop in image quality and
stability. There’s not much of a demand for cables of this length but you will
find them on the Internet; try Aria.co.uk website they stock a 10 metre cable
which will set you back £8.17, plus postage.
Alternatively, you could use an AV wireless ‘sender’, which
are readily available from TV and video dealers for around £30. However, most
of the models I’m aware of require that your PC has a ‘composite’ or ‘S- Video’
output socket. These are common on laptops but comparatively rare on desktop
Better still, if you have a DVD player connected to your
TV, why not just copy your images to disc using the CD Slideshow facility in
picture viewer/editing programs like Picasa (free from: http://picasa.google.co.uk/).
I have a Hitachi
HPW-200EC handheld computer. It's fairly ancient, but it runs well on Windows
has the advantage of a near full-size keyboard and decent size screen. The
trouble is the battery barely holds a charge so that frequent mains connection
is required to retain data.
The battery-pack is a sealed unit with a special connection, which excludes
replacement with standard cells. Is there anyone who can supply replacements?
I'm loath to scrap the machine, which is otherwise sturdy and is outlasting a
three-year old laptop, which is physically disintegrating.
Thomas Quinn, by email
very much doubt that any original replacement packs are still available for
this model as it went out of production some years ago and rechargeable cells
have a finite life. It’s worth checking ebay for a late model with a battery
pack that still has some life left in it, otherwise it should be possible to
replace the cells in your old pack, even though it is sealed. A number of
specialist firms provide a battery refurbishment service; try
cellpacksolutions.com and battery.co.uk
watching YouTube videos the picture and the sound sometimes freeze for a few
seconds at a time. At other times the reception is perfect. Can you help?
Patch, by email
is a symptom of a sluggish Internet connection. Data simply isn’t coming down
the pipe quickly enough and your PC has to keep waiting for it to catch up. It
is unlikely there is a fault at your end but the fact that it works sometimes
suggests that you have a slower broadband connection – I’m guessing 512kb or
1Mb/sec. However, it could be your ISP’s ‘Contention Ratio’, which is a measure
of how many other people share a data connection between the exchange and your
ISP. It may be you are simply logging on at peak times and downloading popular
videos but either way there’s little you can do, apart from changing ISPs or
upgrading to a faster broadband package.
it’s worth checking your download speeds to see how well it matches your ISPs
claims. I suggest a using the on-line tests on couple of websites like
and PCPitStop (http://tinyurl.com/363g8o).
Run the tests at various times throughout the day and average out the results
and if it falls significantly short of what you are paying for, have a word
with your ISP or get BT to check your phone line.
have written a 30-page Word document with photographs interspersed with the
text. Photographs were inserted from My Pictures via Insert > Picture >
From File. I have edited the document on several occasions and the photographs
were in the right place. On the last edit, however, they had disappeared,
but with a red cross in its place. I have two questions: How/why did this
happen and how can I avoid it happening again?
Ron Meyer, via email
Word lets you include pictures and graphics into documents it is important to
remember that it is first and foremost a word processor and not a desktop
publishing program. When you insert an image in a document by default it is
aligned to the text, not any particular point on the page, so when you add,
remove or edit the words there’s a good chance the picture will move. There are
various ways to anchor your images but the simplest method is to specify a
‘text wrap’. This forces Word to arrange text around the picture. You’ll find
this option by highlighting the image then go to Format > Picture, select the
> Layout tab and choose a ‘wrapping style’. You can precisely specify
the size and position by clicking the Advanced button.
disappearing pictures suggests that you have accidentally told Word not to
display images, to put this right go to Tools > Options and select the View
tab and in the Show box uncheck ‘Picture Placeholders’.
© R. Maybury 2007