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.



Changing Addresses

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if you make a habit of changing addresses you risk annoying your contacts and cluttering their address books with out of date information.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 john@familypillinger.co.uk, 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.



Missing Taskbar

I have somehow lost the taskbar on Microsoft Word. What have I done?

Sheila Barnett


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?

When 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?

M. Radlett, Harrow


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



Travel Memories

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 screening machines?

Jonathan Powell-Wiffen, Sheffield.


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


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.