The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 087 14/06/08


Latin Nonsense and Random Foxes

I’m going back a bit now but before desktop publishing programs typesetters used to use a pseudo Latin script, called Lorum Ipsum, for creating dummy page layouts. Do you know if this is still available and is there a modern substitute?

C. Harrison, by email 


You are showing your age… Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit… and so on was, apparently, based on a on a classical Latin text and there’s full history at http://www.lipsum.com/. On the same website there’s a Lorem Ipsum generator, so you can relive those memories. There is a modern equivalent and Microsoft Word has a little known facility for creating blocks of random text, or more accurately, endless copies of ‘The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’.


All you have to do is type =rand() and you’ll get three paragraphs of quick brown foxes. If you want more simply enter the number of paragraphs and number of sentences per paragraph inside the brackets. So, for example, to produce 6 paragraphs, each with 8 sentences, type =rand(6,8).



Hearing Voices 1

On a whim I enabled Microsoft Narrator just to see what it did and now it pops up every time we log on and it is driving me mad. I have tried many times to get information on how to remove it but I can't; we are running Windows Vista.

Fran Wright, by email


I’m not surprised and the mechanical voice can get really irritating and to make matters worse the ‘Off’ switch is well hidden. Here’s how to do it. Press Winkey + U (or go to Start  > Control Panel > Ease of Access Centre). Under Explore all Settings click ‘Use the computer without a display’ then uncheck ‘Turn on Narrator’ and click Save. The procedure is the same for XP but this time after pressing Winkey + U select ‘Narrator is running’ and uncheck all boxes.



Hearing Voices 2

Occasionally when using the Internet on my XP computer a voice from the speakers says ' you have company'. Nothing unexpected appears on the screen.  I just ignore the voice but wonder if it is some sort of virus?

Tom Strong. By email


It’s not a virus and I see from your email address that you are an AOL subscriber. The voice is coming from the AOL Instant Messenger, and it’s telling you that someone on your ‘Buddy List’ has logged on. To turn it off open the Buddy List then select Setup > IM settings > Expressions and check ‘Do not play sounds’.


If you are not using AOL IM you can uninstall it from Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel, select AOL Uninstaller, click Change/Remove, select the AIM checkbox then Uninstall and follow the prompts.




Phantom Attachments

I have just purchased a PC using Windows XP and use Outlook Express for emailing. For some reason every incoming email shows the 'paperclip' icon as if there is an attachment with the email. However most of the incoming emails are just text and do not actually have anything attached. Why does this happen and how can I stop it? It didn't happen on my previous computer on which I also used Outlook Express.

Fran Dowd, by email


It’s nothing to worry about and I see from your email that you are using the AVG anti virus program. The mystery attachments are ‘certificates’ put there by AVG to verify that incoming and outgoing emails have been checked. You can disable the facility in AVG 7 by opening the AVG Control Centre (right click the icon in the System Tray). Right-click ‘E-mail Scanner’ and click the Properties button. Select the Plugins tab, click the Configure button and under Email Scanning deselect ‘Certify Mail’; there’s another one next to it for outgoing mail. 


In AVG 8 double click the AVG icon in the System Tray, double click the E-Mail Scanner icon, go to Tools > Advanced Settings. In the left hand pane highlight E-Mail Scanner and in the right hand pane, under E-Mail Scanning uncheck 'Certify Mail'.



Posters and Stuck Messages

On my old computer I used to use Corel Print Office to make posters, made up from up to 10 sheets of A4 paper. I have now changed computer and am using Windows Vista.  I don't want to reinstall Coral is there another program that I could use, preferably for free?


One more if I may? When I compose messages in Windows Mail they go into my Outbox when I click Send but they do not go until I close Windows Mail. Is there something that I could download to sort out this annoying problem?

Kate Pickard, via email


Have a look at Block Posters (blockposters.com), it is completely free to and all you have to do is upload the image from your computer, tell it how many sheets of paper you want to use and it instantly turns it into a pdf file, which you download back to your PC and print out.


As for your Windows Mail problem, there’s no need to download any programs. I think you may have inadvertently altered a configuration setting. Go to Tools > Options and select the Send tab and under Sending make sure that ‘Send messages immediately’ is checked.




© R. Maybury 2008 2605


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.