The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 073 08/03/08
Is there any way to turn off the irritating ‘Sent from my
BlackBerry’, message appended to emails sent from the device, which irritates
me even more as a sender than as a recipient?
For one thing, it alerts people that I am away from my desk…
Alison Bell, by email
No problem, but it’s quite well hidden Go to Start > Programs
> Desktop Manager, select Redirector Settings then the General tab and
either delete the text in ‘Auto signature’, box, or change it to something
else. An alternative method to just switch it off is to go to: InBox->Options->Email
Settings->Use Auto Signature->No
Taken to Task
The Task Manager function on my Windows XP computer has been
haywire for several weeks now. On pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete the application
screen comes up with the top part missing. So, there is no taskbar across the
top. Can you help?
Tony Braddock, Stourbridge
It sounds as though you have enabled Task Manager’s ‘Tiny
Footprint’ mode, an obscure and as far as I can see pointless feature that makes
the menu bar and tabs disappear. To get them back just double-click the empty
space next to the End Task button.
myself to saving energy I have been trying to find out just how much a typical
PC costs to run. Also, how much
less does it use on stand-by and is it be better to turn it off if it
is not likely to be needed for a couple of hours? There must be millions of
computers in offices and schools just quietly buzzing away just in case someone
wants to use one and I never see any reference to this as a wasteful use of
energy though there are plenty of references to the bad habits of leaving a TV
on standby and surely this must use less than a PC?
The trouble is there’s no such thing as a typical PC, or PC user
for that matter. However, we can make some fairly broad generalisations about
the cost of electricity and the design of desktop PCs and take as an example a
home machine with 3.5GHz CPU, 120Gb HDD, 1GB RAM, standard graphics, normal
browser and office software etc., connected to a 17-inch LCD monitor. We’ll
further assume it is used for an average of 8 hours a day, and switched off at
night, in which case the annual running costs are likely to be in the region of £80 to £100, which may not be as bad as you
Windows has various power saving schemes that can be set in
Control Panel > Power Options to power down the machine and monitor when it
is not being used for any length of time. The most efficient of these is Sleep
mode in Vista, which reduces power consumption to just a few milliwatts, which
translates to running costs of a few pence per year. Hibernate and Standby in
XP use a little more power and if left running in this state would add
around £5 - £10 a year, say, to your
electricity bill. Yes, it all adds up so using a power saving scheme
appropriate to your way of working is a very good idea.
My wife has been given an Acer laptop with Windows Vista
installed. The icons at the bottom of
the screen are so small it is almost impossible to identify them. Is there some way they can be enlarged?
Tony Coles, by email
If you are referring to the Quick Launch icons on the Taskbar then
all you have to do is right-click an empty area next to the icons and select View
then Large Icons. If View doesn’t appear on the same menu uncheck ‘Lock The
Taskbar’ and try again.
I open a web page the text is so small sometimes that I can't read it and I can
find no way to enlarge it.
Parker, by email
browsers, including Internet Explorer and Firefox, the trick is to hold down
the Ctrl key and spin the scroll wheel on your mouse. This engages the zoom
mode, making the text larger or smaller. If you haven’t got a wheel mouse the
keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + + or Ctrl + -. Otherwise in IE and Firefox go to
View > Text Size.
Background on Wallpaper
I have recently
graduated from Windows XP to Windows Vista. The desktop pictures
provided on XP meant a lot to me and I cannot find a way of
transferring them to my new computer. Is it possible, or must I get used to
life without them?
Gill Stuart, by
The standard Windows XP
background pictures are stored in C:\WINDOWS\Web\Wallpaper, as JPEG files.
There’s nothing to stop you copying them to a folder on your new PC using a pen
drive or CD, or, at a pinch, email them to yourself, and used in preference to
the Vista offerings simply by right-clicking on the one you want to use and
select Set as Desktop Background. Otherwise right click on an empty area
of the desktop and select Personalize > Desktop Background and use the
Browse button to navigate to the folder containing the copied images.
© R. Maybury 2008 1602