Houston We Have a Problem... 045
Recording iPlayer to DVD
The forthcoming BBC
iPlayer service sounds very useful. It will be handy if one can transfer
iPlayer programmes from the computer to a DVD so that the whole family can see
it at a time convenient to themselves. How can one do this?
Jack Yates, by email
In theory you can’t. BBC iPlayer downloads contain Digital Rights
Management (DRM) data that prevents digital recording, moreover you only have
30 days to watch downloaded programmes, after which they will be automatically
deleted. However, if your PC or laptop is fitted with an analogue video output
there is nothing to stop you connecting it to a VCR or DVD recorder, though
obviously there will be a drop in picture quality. These kinds of restrictions
are unlikely to be effective for very long, though, and I have little doubt
that DRM ‘hacks’ and third-party DVD recorder programs will appear fairly soon
after the launch.
Mind Your Language
I am an expat and I have purchased a new computer, which has a pre
installed OEM version of Microsoft XP in Portuguese. Is there a simple way that
I can change the operating language to English?
Paul Howarth, by email
Sadly no, you will either have to learn Portuguese or install an
English language version of XP. Your timing is unfortunate as Windows Vista can
be easily switched using Language Interface Packs or LIPs (all versions) or
Multilingual User Interface Packs – MUIs --
(Ultimate and Enterprise editions). In fact an MUI covering 33 languages
was developed for Windows XP Professional but as far as I’m aware it was only
ever available to system builders as part of the Microsoft Volume Licensing
Transferring Data to a New PC
I am thinking of buying a new PC, but have been unable to find a
straightforward way of transferring the data from the old PC, which is at least
eight years old, and does not have a USB port. It has been suggested that I
detach the existing Hard Drive and attach it as a 'slave' to the new machine,
but I'm reluctant to attempt something where I have no technical expertise.
Presumably I could have a Floppy drive fitted to the new PC, and copy files
across, but surely there's a better way?
Mike Snatt, by email
Forget trying to copy data using floppies, at only 1.4Mb a pop it
will take you forever. It may be possible to install a USB port adaptor card if
the PC has a spare PCI slot on the motherboard; if so you can use a flash drive
to copy data. Alternatively you could
install a CD writer in the old PC and copy the files to disc.
Slaving the old drive is by
far the quickest and simplest method, though, and it's really not that
difficult (see this Daily Telegraph Boot Camp article: http://tinyurl.com/263gs3) or ask a
technically savvy friend to help. Otherwise you could use the old Windows
Direct Cable Connection (DCC) facility, which uses a serial or parallel cable
connection between two PCs. There’s more information in Boot Camp 068 (http://tinyurl.com/yugxpz).
Skype and Vista
My friend in
Japan has just bought a Windows Vista PC only to find he cannot contact me via
webcam because he cannot get Skype to work. Any ideas?
Godfrey Rydon, by
Officially Skype isn’t compatible with Vista but a new version is
in the pipeline. The main problem concerns older audio and video drivers but
provided the new PC has the latest updated versions there is a fair chance
Skype can be made to work. However, in some cases only outgoing calls are
possible, incoming calls are rejected, with a message saying that only calls
from people on the contact list are accepted, even if the caller is on the list
or Skype is configured to accept calls from all callers. This is the work of
the Windows Firewall, which lets Skype make outbound connections but blocks
incoming calls. The workaround is to go to Start > Control Panel >
Security Centre, click the Windows Firewall link then Change Settings, select
the Exceptions tab and use the Add Program button to include Skype on the
Dual Booting Vista and Windows 98
I have bespoke engineering software that runs on 98SE but it will
not run on XP nor, I assume, Windows Vista either. I have just bought a new
Vista PC and wonder if it possible to run both operating systems.
David Gamberini, by email
Partitioning or splitting the hard drive into two ‘virtual’ drives
would be the best solution, however, for this to work you really need to start
from scratch with a blank drive. After creating the partitions you must install
the oldest operating system first (i.e. Windows 98), before loading Vista.
The only safe(ish) way to do this retrospectively is to install a
copy of the Linux operating system, which will partition the drive and create a
‘boot menu’ for all three operating systems. There is a DIY guide in Boot Camp
© R. Maybury 2007 0907