The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 099 06/09/08


Better Booklets on a Budget?

I am a church secretary and make up booklets week by week for our services, wedding services etc. I use Fineprint at present but am looking for another brochure maker that will convert Word A5 pages into A5 booklets. Can you suggest an alternative to Fineprint to use on an ordinary domestic printer?

Rosemary Tunstall


Did you know that Word 2002 has some basic booklet printing options, which you will find on the Page Setup menu on the File menu? There’s a slightly more advanced set of booklet utilities in Word 2003, this time it’s on Print on the File menu. It can still be done in older versions of Word; in W2000 have a fiddle with the ‘2 pages per sheet’ feature, which you’ll find on File > Print. There’s a simple to follow guide on the Microsoft Word MVP website: http://tinyurl.com/57een7.


However, in the end a dedicated program, like Fineprint (http://tinyurl.com/39yv), ClickBook (http://tinyurl.com/yjugc6), or any desktop publishing program is still your best bet for speed and ease of use, and since you are doing this on a regular basis then the relatively small outlay (around £25 for the two programs mentioned) is money well spent. 



Library Assistant

I've happily added my CD collection to my Windows Media Library and synchronised with my mp3 player. My son has given me a voucher to download tracks from the iTunes site, so now I have two music libraries. Can I somehow transfer the iTunes files into my WMA library?

Keith Evans, by email


Not directly, most iTunes downloads are protected, to stop them playing on non-Apple devices. There are a number of programs that claim to be able to strip out the protection and convert files to other formats but there are pitfalls, including compatibility and copyright issues. But it’s hardly worth the bother as there is a much simpler method. All you have to do is use iTunes to burn the tracks you want to move to the Windows Media Player library an audio CD. You can then use iTunes or Windows Media Player to ‘rip’ the tracks from the CD back to mp3 files. It’s a bit of a palaver and there may be a small loss of quality but generally it’s not noticeable by the time it’s played back through PC speakers or earphones.



Side-by-Side Windows

Windows Vista has proved a dead loss.  I have available Windows XP with Office 2003.  Can I run two the two operating systems in tandem and, if so, can you explain how it's done?

John Page, by email


Yes-ish… It’s called dual booting but there’s a problem. You can’t (at least not easily) create a dual boot system with Vista already installed. Different versions of Windows have to be installed in reverse chronological order, i.e. the oldest one first. That means you have to start afresh, wipe the hard drive, load the XP installation disc, use it to split the drive into two partitions, install XP on one then install Vista on the other.


I never said it couldn’t be done, though, so if you fancy a challenge, and have backed up all irreplaceable data and are prepared to accept a small risk that it could all go horribly wrong, all you have to do is install a copy of the Linux operating system on your computer. This will split the free space on the drive into two extra partitions (for XP and Linux). After you have installed XP it will take over boot up, so at switch on you can choose which operating system to use. There’s a simple to follow guide to installing Linux and multi-booting Windows in Daily Telegraph Boot Camp articles 446 to 449 at: http://tinyurl.com/3628at 


Mystery Messages at Boot Up

Despite thoroughly checking before Hibernating or turning off my Dell XP laptop, I now regularly get a ‘You have ‘X’ unread email messages’ warning below the password box on startup, even if no programs are running.  Today it said there were 3 messages, yet none existed (nor could they!) anywhere in my Inbox. How could this be and how can I stop it?  My concern is that despite having fully updated anti-virus software some spyware or trojans have hidden away inside some of my messages and they are now showing up as  ‘Unread’

John Wolff, by email


I don’t think there’s a malware problem; these phantom emails are probably coming from Windows Messenger or a similar messaging program running in the background. If you are not using WM you should disable it, but we’ll come to that in a moment. You can get rid of the ‘Unread messages…’ notice by downloading and installing a free Microsoft utility called TweakUI (http://tinyurl.com/2meyw). Launch it by going to Start > Programs > PowerToys for Windows XP > TweakUI. Double click on ' Logon' and deselect ' Show unread mail on Welcome screen'.


There are several ways to disable Windows Messenger. The official procedures are outlined in Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 302089 (http://tinyurl.com/89enq), but here’s a quick and dirty method to stop it launching automatically with Windows. Open Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\program files\messenger\ and rename msmsgs.exe to something like msmsgs.old.


You can also uninstall it, but only attempt this if you know what you are doing, have backed up all of your important files and set a new System Restore Point. In Run on the start menu type the following:

RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

then click OK.




© R. Maybury 2008 0408


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