The Digital Life, Houston We Have a
Problem, 070 16/02/08
I think this may be a little out of your area but I wonder if you can
help with a troublesome eighteen-month old Sky+ box. I have had several problems
with it in the past but until recently Sky sent an engineer but the guarantee
has run out and they want to charge me for the callout and repair. Previously
the engineer managed to get it working again just by pressing a few buttons.
Now for no apparent reason programs in the Planner have ‘Failed’ next to them
and they will not play. Is there anything I can do to get them back? I have
tried switching it off and removing the power lead but this time doesn’t help
and the Failed messages remain.
Jenny Thorpe, by email
Sky+ boxes are just computers dedicated to a single task and they
suffer the same collywobbles as home PCs so they’re not that different. I am
fairly sure those Failed recordings are now lost but there is something you can
try. Most Sky+ boxes have a hidden Service menu and this is probably what the
engineer used last time, but you are not supposed to know about it and you
fiddle with it at your own risk. Press the Services button on the remote
handset, then 4, 0, 1, Select.
Highlight Sky+ Planner Rebuild then press Select. The Screen goes blank
and the box plays dead for a while, but after about five minutes it will come
back to life and you will be able to switch it back on.
No Hiding Place on the Web?
A firm who sold me a memory card for
my camera is mucking me about. They say my order was cancelled but I can't get
through and the website refuses my password. They sent me a new one but that
doesn’t work either. I've sent them several emails, but no replies. I'm worried
because, of course, I've given them my credit card details. Is there some way
of checking on these firms or finding a phone number so that I can speak to
Lawrence Hughes, Bromsgrove
I would be very wary of doing business
with any company that doesn’t publish an address and phone on its web site.
However, you can find out who the website is registered to using a ‘Whois’
search tool, like the one at www.domaintools.com.
The details may refer to the website’s holding company or agent, who could be
overseas, so it may not lead directly to the people you are actually trying to
contact, but it’s a start.
Words for Old FIles
Until recently I used to be able to open documents produced in
Word for Windows Version 2 in Word 2003.
Now when I when I try to do this I get the following message: You
are attempting to open a file that was created in an earlier version of
Microsoft Office. This file type is blocked from opening in this version by
your Registry Policy setting’. Can you tell me how to change the Registry Policy to allow the document
to open, please?
This message is due to a recent security update for Word 2003, it also
appears when you try to open documents created in Word for Windows V1 and Word
for Mac V4 and 5, in Word 2007. Either way there are several ways to remove the
block but they all involve editing the Registry, which I would not recommend
unless you are familiar with the inner workings of Windows. If you are
confident of your abilities then there is a DIY guide in Microsoft Knowledgebase article
I have a Dell Inspiron PC running Windows XP-SP2 and when I go into the
Desktop tab in Display Properties it has locked on one of my photographs which
I can't change as the browse button is greyed-out. Worse, it doesn't show this
photograph on desktop but just a plain blue background. It does show the
picture briefly on startup and shutdown. Can you help me unlock it?
This may be due to a web page taking over your desktop, in
which case try this. Right-click on the desktop and select 'Arrange Icons by'
and on the menu that appears uncheck the item 'Lock Web items on Desktop'. If
not it could be due to a malware infection so I suggest running cleaner
utilities like AdAware, A-Square and Spybot, and there’s no harm in using all
three of them. They're all free and you'll find links to them all at: http://tinyurl.com/2woy5u
When I go into Word, click on File then Open then choose a file, the
document names within the open file are turning blue. Bit by bit they are doing
it themselves! How can I return them all to black?
Debbie de Spon, by email
If filenames appearing in Open/Save boxes are coloured blue that
probably means they’ve been compressed, possibly by the Windows Drive Cleanup
Wizard, to save space (to switch this off open Windows Explorer and go to Tools
> Folder Options > View tab > Advanced Settings and deselect Show
encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color). But if you are saying that
filenames in documents are coloured blue then that means Word is mistaking them for web addresses and
turning them into hyperlinks. You don't say which version of Word you are using
but in most recent editions the way to switch this feature off is go to Insert
> AutoText > AutoText, select the AutoFormat As You Type tab and under
Replace as you type, uncheck, 'Internet and network paths with hyperlinks
© R. Maybury 2008 1911