The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem,  051 08/08/07


Keyboard Confusion 1

A couple of years ago I found a way of adding alternative keyboards by going into Control Panel then Keyboard and a dialogue box with two tabs would appear, one saying Speed and the other Language. From there I was able to add Danish and German keyboard.  However, these two alternative keyboards suddenly disappeared, and now when I look at Keyboard in Control Panel it shows tabs labelled Speed and Hardware. How can I reinstate these alternative keyboards? I use Windows XP.

Per Sabroe, by email


Don’t worry, your PC (and your memory) are not playing tricks but Keyboard in Control Panel is where you change language settings in Windows 98, SE or ME. My guess is you have upgraded to Windows XP in the last couple of years. The settings you are looking for are still in Control Panel but this time they are tucked away inside ‘Regional and Language Settings'; select the Languages tab, click the Details button and chose the keyboard languages you want to use.



Keyboard Confusion 2

The @ symbol has swapped places with the double quotation marks ( " ) on my keyboard.  I have tried another keyboard but it is the same. Now I have lost the £ symbol altogether, and it hasn't swapped places with the symbol I get in lieu of it.

Leo Cima, by email


For some reason your PC has been switched to an American type keyboard but it’s easy enough to get things back to normal. Simply follow the procedure outlined in the previous question and when you click the Details button I expect you will see  ‘English (United States) ’ at the top of the list in the Installed Services window. If so select it and click the Remove button. You should now have just  ‘English (United Kingdom) – United Kingdom’ showing, if not select it from the drop-down menu and click the Add button, then OK. You may have to reboot the computer for the change to take effect.



Turning Back Time

Can you tell me if there is any way to cancel emails that you have sent by mistake and rescue the situation before the recipient reads them?

Penny Rector, by email


We’ve all done it, and I suspect an ‘undo email’ button would be an incredibly popular feature but once you’ve pressed the Send button there’s no going back. You cannot stop or change an email once it has left your PC and nothing (apart from a wonky ISP) can prevent it from reaching its destination. The only exception is if you enter an invalid address and eventually your message will be returned, marked as ‘undeliverable’. The golden rule therefore is only press the Send button if you really, really mean it!



Double Digital

Do you know of any twin-tuner digiboxes that allow you to record one channel whilst watching another? Having just bought a Freeview receiver for £20 I am just beginning to enjoy the benefits of Digital TV. However both my TV and DVD recorder are fairly new and more than adequate for my purposes. Both devices will connect to the box and receive programs but the problem is that if I am recording one digital channel I cannot watch another one. I could do it with two boxes I know but would have yet another remote control and it all starts to get a bit messy. I can't believe that nobody makes one, as there must be millions of folks like me. Any thoughts?

Steve Hargreaves, by email


As far as I am aware the only stand-alone Freeview receivers with twin tuners are PVRs or Personal Video Recorders, which record TV programs on a hard disc. The cheapest one I’m aware of is the Digihome PVR80, which costs around £80 from Argos.


It’s still early days and the switchover to digital TV has only just begun and there may well be a demand for twin-tuner receivers, but I don’t think it will be as big as you imagine. In five years time DVD recorders and VCRs will have virtually disappeared. Archiving TV programmes on tape and disc will be a thing of the past and apart from news, sports and special events most of what we watch will be recorded on PVRs or on DVD. If there’s something you want to watch that’s not available on one of the hundreds of terrestrial and satellite channels you’ll simply download it from the Internet.



In Need of Refreshment

A recent instruction on an Internet web page required me to press the ‘Refresh’ button... Where is it?

Anne Hughes, by email


Up until Internet Explorer version 6 the Refresh button – a pair of green arrows pointing in opposite directions – was an icon on the toolbar. In IE7 it was miniaturised and moved, along with the Stop button (red ‘X’) to the right end of the address box. Incidentally, instead of messing around with the mouse just click the F5 key, which is the keyboard shortcut for page refresh, and this also works on most other web browsers.   




© R. Maybury 2007 2708

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