The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem,  050 01/09/07


Rewriting the Rules

I store my photos on my computer and can easily delete single or a file of them.  However, when I copy over to a re-writeable CD, I cannot delete.  It tells me the file is read only.  I thought if I had a rewritable CD this would be possible.  How can I over come this?

Mary Cousins, by email


This catches a lot of people but the fact is all recordable CDs and DVDs are read-only ‘write-once’ media and the data they contain cannot be erased or re-written. The term ‘rewritable’ just means that the whole disc can be erased and re-used.


Now, you might be wondering how some CD/DVD burning programs and utilities appear to let you selectively erase and rewrite files, like a hard disc, but this is just a trick. When you ‘delete’ a file on a CD or DVD all you are actually doing is removing the reference to the file from the disc’s table of contents (TOC). The ‘erased’ data remains on the disc and the space it occupies cannot be re-used; a new or modified file of the same name simply uses up available free space so eventually the disc will fill up.




Not In My Name

When I first open my computer and the Microsoft licence comes on the screen, the person who set up my computer spelt my name wrong.  Is there any way I can alter this please?  Silly I know, but it annoys me!
Lynda Fuller, by email


A small point it may be but it can be extremely irritating. You can change your name and the ‘Registered Organisation’ but I have to warn you that it involves tinkering with the Windows Registry, which is strictly off-limits to novices, and you try it entirely at your own risk. However, that said, it’s not difficult and if you follow the instructions nothing should go wrong. By the way, this trick works on both Windows XP and Vista.


Start by setting a System Restore Point (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools) then go to Run or Search (in the case of Vista) on the Start menu and type ‘regedit’. This opens the Registry Editor; now navigate to the following key:





Double click on the CurrentVersion icon and in the right-hand pane work your way down to Registered Owner. Right click on the Key and select Modify and make your changes and click OK. You can do the same thing with the Registered Organisation key. Exit the Registry Editor and on the next reboot the correct name will appear.



Speeding Tickets

Some of my DVDs have 4x, 8x or 16x written on them.  What does this signify and how would it affect their performance.

John Le Gassick, by email

These numbers are speed ratings and indicate how fast data can be written to the disc. You will often find a similar number printed or stamped on the front of your CD/DVD writer drive. The idea is that you buy the fastest discs your drive and burning software supports but in practice this can be a bad idea. Faster writing speeds often result in corrupt disc, so unless you are in a hurry stick to slower (2x, 4x etc.) writing speeds.


Word in a Spin

I have Word 2000 and would like to use the image rotate facility. From the Draw toolbar I go to Rotate or Flip from which the drop-down menu is faint and Free Rotate, etc. are disabled. 

Michael Glover, by email


These options are ‘greyed out’ because Windows 2000 can only rotate WordArt graphics and Drawing objects. You can rotate images and graphics in later versions of Word but unless you upgrade the only thing you can do is change the orientation of the image in Paint or your preferred image editing program, before you insert it into Word.



MACs and Digicams

My 3-year-old Fuji camera has suffered an unforeseen problem and I have been quoted me £150 to send it away for repair. I would prefer to purchase a new camera with more features, one that is compatible with my computer. I have been downloading my pictures onto an iMac OS 9.2 and would like to continue doing so as I cannot justify buying a new computer. Do you know if there is a camera currently available with software that will enable me to download onto my iMac? The shop suggested a Canon IXUS 70 but the computer requirements on the box say Mac OS X.

John Connelly, Tacolneston, Norfolk


I really wouldn’t worry, just concentrate on getting the camera that has the features you want and suits your needs. The software requirements on digicam boxes normally only relates to the utility and file management software. The vast majority of digital cameras record images using JPEG compression on standard memory cards, so all you have to do, to get images from your camera into the Mac, is buy a USB card reader.


Just remove the card from the camera, pop it into the reader then copy the picture files to a folder on your hard drive. You may even find that you MAC can read the memory card directly when you connect it using the supplied USB data cable.





© R. Maybury 2007 0608


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.