Houston We Have a Problem… 039 16/06/07
I am very
interested buying a Sony PRS-500 Portable Reader to read my own files and PDF
documents in particular. However, as it is not on sale in Europe and there is
no indication of a date on which it will become available I am thinking about
buying one via the Internet from Sony US or buying one while visiting America.
Are there any reasons why this would be inadvisable?
Mary Browne, Co. Dublin
Sony PRS-500 is an electronic device – about the size of a thin paperback book
-- for displaying text and graphics on a new type of screen that has the
appearance of print on paper. This particular model can store the equivalent of
around 80 books and the rechargeable battery is good for around 7,500 ‘page
of the reasons you cannot buy this product in Europe is because Philips owns
the rights to the iRex ‘Electronic Paper Display (EPD) technology and wants to
preserve the European market for its own product, called the Iliad, which has
just gone on sale for around £430.
nothing to stop you from buying a Sony Reader in the US or online but you may
run into difficulties if it goes wrong as Sony UK probably won't want to have
anything to do with it. You should also be aware of the current limit of £145
on importing or buying goods outside the EU. The VAT and import duty imposed by
UK Revenue & Customs could prove costly. Remember too that this is a
relatively new technology and it might be wise to wait a while for the dust to
settle and prices to fall, as they inevitably will.
MP3 Compatibility Problems?
PC runs Windows 98SE, which is more than adequate for my needs. I have no
interest in downloading tracks from the Internet, but I would like to transfer
my collection of CDs to an MP3 player. Checking on various models I have found
several that will run on Windows 98, however they all seem to require Intel
Pentium 3 or above CPUs whereas my processor is an Intel Celeron. Are there any
players that will accommodate this chip?
Woods, by email
speaking the make or type of CPU chip that your PC uses is not an issue. The
crucial features for connecting an MP3 player to your computer
are the availability of a USB socket – almost certainly not a problem in
your case -- and a suitable driver. This is a small piece of software that
allows the player to communicate with the PC. Now that Windows 98 is
technically obsolete fewer MP3 player manufacturers bother creating the
necessary drivers for it. However, providing the player’s ‘System Requirements’
clearly states that it supports connection to a Windows 98SE PC then you should
have no problems. The supplied software, used for converting or ‘Ripping’ audio
CDs to MP3 format may not support Windows 98SE, but don’t let this put you off
as there are plenty of third-party programs available.
you tell me where all the SmartMedia memory cards have gone?
Devereux, by email
(SM) memory cards first appeared in 1995. They were quite successful for a
while, supported by several major digital camera manufacturers, however, as
demand for storage capacity grew the format’s technical imitations became
apparent. As far as I’m aware the largest cards produced were only128Mb. This
was a major disadvantage and rival memory card formats, like the small, cheap
and flexible MMC/SD/SDHC family now go up to 8Gb, with even bigger ones in the
pipeline. Amazon.co.uk and one or two specialist memory card suppliers still
have a few SM cards left so if you want to continue using your camera now might
be a good time to stock up.
last time I accepted the invitation
'To free up disk space, Outlook Express can compact your
messages’, 1,500 messages and many attachments were lost or
corrupted! It can appear incessantly and I dread clicking
'Yes' instead of 'Cancel' by mistake. Can I prevent this message
from appearing so often or altogether?
Brown, by email
and its sucessor Windows Mail makes this generous offer after you have opened and closed the program 100
times. Previously it used to compact messages automatically but this feature
was removed by Windows XP Service Pack 2.
it is safe to allow OE/WM to compact your messages, however, it is vitally
important not to interrupt the process, by switching the PC off, or putting it
into Standby or Hibernation mode as this will almost certainly result in your
message folders being corrupted.
Unfortunately this function is 'hard-coded' into OE. In short you can't switch it off, but if you know
your way around the XP Registry there is a way to reset the counter manually.
However, this procedure is not for novices and you try it entirely at your own
risk. (Note: this procedure applies only to Outlook Express)..
Open Regedit and make your way to:
In the right hand pane right-click on Compact Check Count,
select Modify and change the value data to 0 (it's a hex value, so don't worry
if it's showing
possible your lost messages are still there, though, and you may be able to
recover some or all of them using a program like Diskinternals Outlook Express
Repair Tool (http://tinyurl.com/gttot), Repair Tool for Outlook
Express (http://tinyurl.com/nxu3o) or Scandbx (http://tinyurl.com/982wt). They all offer a free
trial version; this will tell you if any messages can be restored, if you have
the option to pay a licence fee (typically £15 - £20) to unlock the program and
recover the damaged files.
© R. Maybury 2007