The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 053
Freebie Word Alternatives
The free 60-day
trial of Microsoft Word on our new Vista PC has expired. In the past I've seen
mention of a similar program, that can be downloaded for free? Please advise,
D.F Owen, by
Both AbiWord, and Writer
(part of the OpenOffice Suite) are entirely free and as well as looking and
working a lot like Word, they will also open and edit Word documents. Links to
both of them can be found on the Software page PCTopTips at tinyurl.com/28hx9k
I would like to
install a new faster motherboard into my Windows XP computer. I have read
that Microsoft read any change in the system’s major components as an attempt
to pirate XP, and cuts up rough. Is there anything I should do before making
the change to avoid difficulties?
Changing the motherboard,
CPU or hard drive will usually trigger Windows XP Activation, however, this is
only a brief formality, providing your PC has a working Internet connection.
The first time you boot up after the change, and once Windows has sorted itself
out, you will see an ‘Activate Now’ button. Click this and the whole process
should only take a few seconds, though you may be asked to re-enter your
Product Key. Normally the only time it fails is if you try to re-install the
same copy of XP on another PC soon afterwards, in which case you may
be asked to telephone Microsoft to explain yourself, though I have never
heard of them refusing to activate a legitimate copy of Windows.
Sun Powered Camera
We will be trekking in
Nepal next month with no access to mains electricity. Is it possible to use the
solar chargers designed principally for mobile phones and MP3 players with a
Makinson-Sanders, by email
The chargers supplied
with most digicams are mains powered so you will need to seek out a version
that can be used with a 12 volt DC supply. Try the camera manufacturer first,
otherwise some ‘Universal’ chargers, designed for popular digital camera
batteries, come with a car battery connector that could be easily adapted for
use with a solar charger.
Restore some Space
I have read that old System Restore points can be removed
from Windows XP. These take up a lot of hard disc space, so can you explain
please how to do it?
Barry England, by email
Switching off System
Restore will delete all of your old Restore Points. All you have to do is open
System Properties (Winkey + Break), select the System Restore tab, check 'Turn
off System Restore' and OK the warning that appears. You can also adjust the
amount of disk space System Restore uses by clicking the Settings button in the
same dialogue box. However, if you are running out of disk space then the
sensible thing to do is add a second ‘slave’ hard drive, or upgrade your
existing one as this problem is not going to go away.
Obstinate Windows Mail Messages
How I can remove emails in the Deleted Items folder in Vista’s Windows
Mail? It refuses to let me do so; is there a solution or should I install a
third-party email program?
Dave Walmsley, by email
Quite a few Vista users have been having this problem and it is
normally due to a corrupt Mailstore file, which indexes the contents of your
message folders. The solution is to delete this file and Windows Mail will
create a new one. It is a safe procedure and your messages will be unaffected
but it’s a good idea to back them up, just in case, (go to Export on the File
menu, select Messages and follow the prompts).
Once that is done exit Windows Mail open Computer (Windows
Explorer) on the Start menu and make your way to:
WindowsMail.MSMessageStore then open the Backup folder and delete the second
instance of the file. Exit Computer and open Windows Mail. The Mailstore
database file will be recreated and you will be able to delete those
When a friend sends me an email Outlook Express
immediately sends it to the Deleted Items folder. How can I correct this
so it goes into my Inbox?
Paul Kay, Cambridge
My guess is you have
accidentally added your friend's email address to the Blocked Senders list.
It's easy to do as it is on the Message menu, just above the Flag
Message option. To remove it from the list go to Tools Message Rules
> Blocked Senders list, highlight the name and click Remove.
My adult daughter
is due to stay in my house soon whilst I am away and wants to use my
Windows XP probably for the Internet. That’s okay by me, but I do not want her
to have access to my e-mails on Outlook Express. Can this be prevented?
The first thing you should do is set up a separate XP user account
for your daughter and this will go a long way towards protecting your system
and personal files. Nevertheless it won’t hurt to adopt a belt and braces
approach and you can password-protect
your Inbox using OE's Identities feature. From the menu select File >
Identities > Add New Identity. Enter your name and click the Require
Password box and follow the prompts.
© R. Maybury 2007 1009