The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 055 06/10/07
The Image Lingers On
I am using a LCD monitor and when I play games that have a bright
border or surround, which is permanently on the screen throughout the game, afterwards
a strong outline of the border is retained on the screen. This remains for some
considerable time. Is this a sign that the display is starting to fail?
Alan Rogerson, by email
Probably not, permanent ‘screen burn’ is a problem with CRT type
monitors but LCDs are largely immune to this effect (though a few very rare
cases have been reported). The ghost of a bright static image may persist for a
while but eventually it will fade away and it should disappear altogether if
you switch the monitor off for a few minutes. Some models have a ‘cleaner’ or
‘wiper’ facility that displays a bright white screen and this will clear it
more or less straight away.
We can’t be the only ones who face a potential nightmare, when
chopping and changing TV, phone and broadband packages. Is there an easy way to
advise all of our email contacts of a new email address?
John and Yvonne.Pillinger, by email
The usual method is to send out a mass-email, putting all of your
contact’s addresses in the BCC (blind carbon copy) box and this will prevent
those on the list from seeing everyone else’s address. However, if the list is
a long one you may run into problems with your ISP restricting the number of
messages you can send, in an effort to cut down on Spam. Moreover, if you make
a habit of changing addresses you risk annoying your contacts and cluttering
their address books with out of date information.
One alternative is to switch to an email service won’t be affected
by a change of ISP, webmail systems like those from Google, Yahoo MSN and so on
will do the trick.
Better still, why not register a website name – typically it costs
less than £10 for two years for a .co.uk address – and set the email forwarding
option to send all emails addressed to email@example.com, say,
to be sent to your current ISP assigned email address. Forwarding is normally
free and if you change ISP you simply change the forwarding address. To check
if a name is available – and familypillinger is up for grabs – simply visit a
registration site like Low Cost Names at (www.lowcostnames.co.uk) and type your
choice of name into the Search box.
I have somehow lost the taskbar on Microsoft
Word. What have I done?
Are you in Full
Screen mode? Press Alt + V to bring up View menu and click Full Screen to
toggle it on and off. Otherwise you may have inadvertently disabled the
toolbars, in which case go to Toolbars on the View menu and select
Standard and Formatting, and any others that you use.
There are also a
handful of obscure faults that can make them disappear, such as a rogue macro,
a faulty document template or a fault in the Windows Registry. There's a simple
to follow troubleshooting guide at: http://kb.iu.edu/data/ajln.html
Is My PC Laughing At Me?
I am working on my PC I am bothered by unwanted noises, including the
sound of a gate slamming shut and - this one really bugs me -- the sound of
laughter. Do you know what causes these sound effects and how I can get
rid of them?
There is Word Macro virus, called ‘Outlaw’ that includes a sound
file called ‘laugh.wav’ in its payload; you will find details of how to
identify and remove it on the Symantec website at http://tinyurl.com/2kg3ab.
Another possibility, if
you are an AOL Instant Messenger user, is a laughing sound that pipes up
whenever anyone on your ‘Buddy List’ goes online. You can disable this by
opening the Buddy List, select Setup, then IM settings and the Expressions tab
and click ‘Do not play Sounds’. I would also run a malware scan using a
program like AdAware or A-Squared (both free, links to both downloads can be
found at: http://tinyurl.com/2woy5u
When you are
abroad, what is the best way to save your pictures from your camera when its
memory card is full? Are discs and memory cards safe when put through airport
There are a variety
of strategies and taking extra memory cards with you would be the obvious solution. Alternatively, and assuming that you have your PC with you, you can download images
to your hard drive, and from there, copy them to a USB flash drive. Keep it in
a safe place, away from your PC, in case it is lost or stolen. If your laptop
is equipped with a CD/DVD writer you can copy your images to a blank disc, and
if you have access to a broadband connection while you are away you can email
images as attachment to yourself, upload them to your personal web space or
send them to a picture sharing website, like Flickr.
Memory cards and USB
flash drives, hard disc drives, CDs and DVDs will all pass harmlessly through
the vast majority of airport X-Ray scanners, though there are tales of files
being corrupted or deleted by very old high-dosage machines in some out of the
way places. If you are concerned ask the security staff to carry out a manual
check (good luck….).
© R. Maybury 2007 2409