The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 097 23/08/08


Persistent Pest

While browsing I must have accidentally clicked on a service to download films. I have never used it but something called Platte seems to have invaded my desktop with an icon that I just cannot get rid of. When I click on it I am pestered with requests for a subscription and various implied treats if I do not pay up.


I have telephoned the company but all I got was a promise to send me an uninstaller in the post. There must be some way to get rid of it. I am 84years old and this type of harassment is most unwelcome.

Eric Pereira, by email


Itís unwelcome no matter how old you are and this company has managed to annoy a great many people with its dubious tactics and intrusive software. To remove it you have to delete a couple of files and edit the Registry, so itís quite tricky for novices. Fortunately there are a number of automated removal tools, or if you want to have a go at it yourself, thereís a simple to follow instructional video. Youíll find both solutions on theeasypccompany blog at: http://tinyurl.com/63wele.



Letter of Recommendation

I am secretary of a local club. We have headed notepaper, with a logo and addresses, which I wish to copy and modify using Word or PowerPoint. I know I cannot edit the scan in these programs but I suspect unwanted information could be blanked out or overwritten. I can scan the letterhead (as a document) and save it as a JPEG but the saved file will only open using a photo program, Adobe or Picasa, which I cannot transfer to Word. Trying to open in Word results in gobbledegook. On the scanner utility I have the option to Save as PDF', but the resultant scan is still in JPEG. Can you please suggest a way to get the scan on to Word?

Alex. A. Aitken


You seem to have gone around the houses on this one, so letís start again. Scan the letterhead and save the JPEG file. Since it appears that you do not have an image-editing program on your PC you need to download one and I suggest PhotoFiltre. It is free and very easy to use; youíll find a link to the download at: http://tinyurl.com/6k6n4v. 


Install and launch PhotoFiltre then open your scanned image file. You donít say exactly what you want to do it but PhotoFiltre has lots of useful drawing and editing tools, and you can also add text to the image. Have a good fiddle around with them, youíll quickly pick it up and when you are happy with it crop and resize the image and save it. Finally, open Word and use Insert > Picture > From File to put the letterhead logo on a page, which you can then save as a template file for future use.



Keyboard Killer

My wife who is a trained touch typist rarely uses my computer and then only to email friends once I have set it up for her, but somehow she manages to hit a combination of keys, which disables the keyboard. Itís not something I have ever managed to do myself but then I only use two fingers!  My problem is that not having witnessed the event I cannot correct it except by rebooting the computer, leading to loss of the email and bad temper on both sides! How does she do it and how do I correct it?

David Price, by email


As far as I am aware the only keyboard shortcut that can do anything like this is Winkey + L, which is the Windows Lock and requires the user to re-enter their account password to access the machine. There are a number of third-party utilities, like Toddler Keys (stops children fiddling), and Clean Ďní Go (temporarily disables keyboard and mouse for cleaning), but Iím sure you would remember if you had installed such programs.  Itís possible thereís a keyboard disable utility bundled with your machine so check the All Programs list for anything with keyboard in the name and have a look through the manual.   


Lengthy Answer

I have inherited approximately 1200 feet of 8mm film on five reels. The reels comprise many short lengths, which have been joined in no particular order.  I had intended to have them transferred to DVD and then onto my computer in order to edit them into sequence, subject matter, etc.  It has been suggested that the film can be professionally transferred to an external hard drive for the editing exercise. What size hard drive would I require to accommodate the above quantity of film?

Michael Hewitt, by email


Make sure whoever is doing the cine-to-video conversion uses a format that you can edit with the software on your computer. 1200 feet of Standard or Super 8 film, shot at 16/18 frames per second represents around 90 minutes of recording time. Using one of the popular consumer digital formats each minute of film creates between 4 and 6Gb of data per minute, so a 500Gb drive should do the trick.





© R. Maybury 2008 2807


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.