Houston We Have a Problem... 046 04/08/07


Missing Ink

I have an excellent Epson Stylus Photo printer that I used to use mainly for printing photographs. This has changed now so that most of my printing is in the form of letters etc. for which I only need black ink. In the printer’s utility software there is a facility for the use of black ink so I click on that option. But I note that it is not only the black ink that is going down, it is using up colour ink as well. Is there anything I can do about this as it so wasteful?

Dennis Coote, by email


I wouldn't pay too much attention to the ink level indicator, it’s only an estimate and on some models the tanks can still be up to a third full when the gauge reads empty. Even though you’ve selected black-only printing some colour ink will be used every time the printer goes through it's start-up routine. Cleaning cycles also use up a lot of ink. Nevertheless, the colour tanks probably contain much more ink than the level indicators suggest. A free utility called SSC (http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml) has a more accurate ‘fuel gauge’; this also has the facility to ‘reset’ the chips on the cartridges so you can use a good quality third-party refill ink kit, which will also help keep costs down. Needless to say printer manufacturers frown upon this practice and it almost certainly invalidates the warranty but if it has run out you have nothing to lose.



RAMs for MACs?  

I'm a Derby County fan now living in Devon so I can't receive Radio Derby. The ‘Rams’ web site offers live

commentary for a small fee but only supports Windows whereas I have an iMac. Any solution?

Dennis Carlow, by email


I think you have overlooked the simplest solution and that is to listen to match reports and commentary on Radio Derby. It’s available from the BBC on the Internet (http://tinyurl.com/2jgdcs), using Real Player (or Real Alternative, http://tinyurl.com/2m8jcr) and it works on Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix operating systems. Derby FC’s web service contains digital rights management (DRM) data to protect copyright and this can only be played through Windows Media Player (v9 or above), which is why it’s not Mac-friendly now, or likely to be anytime soon.



Identities in Windows Mail

I have an Acer Aspire laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium Edition pre-installed, which includes Internet Explorer 7.  Rather than use Windows Mail which comes with Vista, (and which, unlike Outlook Express, does not support multiple Identities), I wish to install Outlook Express or an Outlook Express-compatible e-mail client (i.e. one to which folders and messages from an OE store can be imported) which supports multiple identities. Any ideas on how to install OE on Vista, or suggestions as to alternative e-mail clients with these features?

Guy Catchpole


Unfortunately you cannot install Outlook Express in Vista, and many have tried… As you have discovered Windows Mail in Vista doesn't support switchable identities in a single instance of the program but you can still create separate identities by opening extra Vista user accounts. However, there is another way and a third-party utility for Windows Mail, called WMID (Windows Mail Identities, http://tinyurl.com/35op74) installs this handy feature back and it costs just $15. The alternative is to switch to Mozilla Thunderbird, (http://tinyurl.com/yvbygu), it supports multiple identities that can be switched on the fly; it looks and works a lot like OE and best of all, it is free.



Getting Off the Grid

When I launch Microsoft Word it opens up with a page filled with a graph, though I can still type on the page. How can I get rid of the lines, it’s obviously not normal as this doesn’t happen on my laptop.

Eddie Rigby, by email


You are right, it’s not something you see very often and you have managed to enable an obscure feature called ‘Gridlines’. It’s quite well hidden on older versions of Word and quite difficult to do by accident… To switch it off on recent editions of Word go to the View menu, select Show/Hide and uncheck Gridlines. On Word 2002 and earlier right-click on the main toolbar, check Drawing, go to the Draw menu select Grid, uncheck 'Display gridlines on screen' and click OK.



Mystery Error

I have a full set of anti-virus and security applications on my PC yet I have begun to get the following troubling notice on my desktop: ‘iexplore.exe- application error, Software exception (0xDeeDFade)…’. Is it dangerous and what does it mean.

Peter Green, by email


You can relax; it almost certainly isn’t a virus or anything nasty like that. The two clues as to its meaning are in the header ‘iexplore.exe – application error’, and the ‘0xDeeDFade’ code, both of which point to a problem in a third party ‘extension’ or add-on installed in Internet Explorer. It’s impossible to say which one is causing the problem from the error message but you can easily find out by going to Tools > Manage Add-Ons. Highlight each entry in turn and click Disable then OK. Exit and restart Internet Explorer then enable them one at a time until you find the culprit.





© R. Maybury 2007 1607


Search PCTopTips 



Digital Life Index

Houston 2006

Houston 2007

Houston 2008


Top Tips Index

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Internet & Email

Microsoft Word

Folders & Files

Desktop Mouse & Keyboard

Crash Bang Wallop!

Privacy & Security

Imaging Scanning & Printing

Power, Safety & Comfort

Tools & Utilities

Sound Advice

Display & screen

Fun & Games

Windows 95/98/SE/ME








 Copyright 2006-2008 PCTOPTIPS UK.

All information on this web site is provided as-is without warranty of any kind. Neither PCTOPTIPS nor its employees nor contributors are responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, direct or consequential, resulting from your choosing to use any of the information contained herein.