Ask Rick 019, 19/01/09, Houston 116, 7/02/09
My old iPod Shuffle isn’t recognised as an external drive on
my newer laptop of six months, which has Vista installed on it. This is
maddening as there is no way I can find of changing the songs I have on my
Shuffle. Any ideas?
Daphne Kasriel, by email
By old I suspect you mean
it’s a first generation model, in which case this is quite a common problem.
There are several possibilities, including of course a faulty iPod, but you
should be able to eliminate that by trying it on another PC with iTunes
installed. As far as Windows goes, the Apple Support website (http://tinyurl.com/8g3qrg) is the place to
go and I would be very surprised indeed if your problem isn’t resolved
after working through the suggestions under ‘Still can’t see your iPod’
Age of Compatibility
I have a new laptop with
Vista Home Premium installed. However I am unable top get Age of Empires III
(2005) to install. It gets to about 15 percent but then stops. I have tried the
option 'Use an older program with this version of Windows' but this doesn't
work either. I do not receive any error messages. Any suggestions?
Cameron, by email
You are in luck and
Microsoft has a package of compatibility updates, which includes, amongst many
other programs, Age of Empires III. It’s free and you can download it from: http://tinyurl.com/36bwe2
No Disk Mystery
saying ‘Windows – No Disk Exception Processing Message c0000013…’appears on my
desktop every time I boot up my XP computer. It also virtually stops the
machine from running until I have cancelled it from the screen, which seems to
take an inordinate number of mouse clicks. Even then it will occasionally
reappear and be just as difficult to remove. I do not have any trouble
accessing any of the drives on my machine (removable or permanent) so it
appears to mean nothing at all.
Brian.T, by email
This baffling message
usually means that Windows can no longer access a removable drive installed
through a memory card reader or USB port or there’s a glitch with QuickTime. If
it’s the latter an easy fix that seems to work for a lot of people is to clear
the Recent Documents and Files list. To do that right-click on the Start menu
or Taskbar, click Properties, select the Start Menu tab, click the Customize
button, select the Advanced tab and click the Clear List button. If that
doesn’t work and you have a memory card reader try removing then re-installing
the device driver software from Device Manager (Winkey + Break > Hardware
> Device Manager), which you should find listed under USB Controllers.
Right-click on the entry, select Uninstall, reboot and it should be
automatically restored. If not the driver can be downloaded from the card
reader manufacturer’s web site.
I do a disk cleanup and
defrag regularly. Is this a correct method to keep the computer working
efficiently or is there anything better I should or could do?
Michael Loughlin, by
If your PC is well used
then they’re both worth doing two or three times a year but in most cases it
makes relatively little difference to overall performance. Recent versions of
Windows (XP and Vista) use a fairly advanced filing system that’s quite good at
avoiding clutter and making efficient use of the space available. Nevertheless,
Windows does slow down over time. It’s inevitable and mainly due to having too
many programs vying for limited resources, so only install the software you
actually need and remove anything you no longer use.
When installing new
programs read through the setup options and untick any boxes that offer to start
the program with Windows. You should also keep an eye on the Startup list (type
‘msconfig’ in run/search on the Start menu) and periodically deselect any
unwanted Services and utilities that launch after Windows. However, my ultimate
tip is to make a copy or ‘clone’ of your hard disc drive, once everything is
running smoothly and configured to your liking. Every eighteen months or so, when the slowdown usually starts to
become noticeable, switch to the clone system. Copy your backed up files to the
new drive and it’s like having a brand new PC. It’s not as difficult as it
sounds and there’s a simple to follow guide in Boot Camp 550 (http://tinyurl.com/5lry7a)
I can successfully
download from my camera to my PC where I use Picasa to edit the pictures. Is it
possible to then upload these edited pictures from the PC back to the camera’s
memory card so that I can see them on my TV?
Geoff Hill, by email
Absolutely no problem.
Open the image in Picasa then go to SaveAs on the file menu, specify the
location (your memory card) and click OK. However, why not try Picasa’s Gift CD
option (on the folder menu), which may be playable on your DVD player if it has
a JPEG file reading facility. Otherwise there are plenty of commercial programs
for creating photo slideshow discs on DVD, or if you fancy a challenge, try my
DIY method, which uses free software, you’ll find it in Boot Camp 504 (http://tinyurl.com/a8svro)
Our daughter is reading
psychology at Uni and needs a new computer. She wants a MacBook but they are
dreadfully expensive, compared with other makes. Do you think it is worth
paying the extra and, if so, why? I should maybe point out that her faculty is
equipped with Macs and she uses them in lab work.
Jane Ackroyd, by email
There are some amazingly
cheap Windows laptops around right now and these days it’s fairly civilised and
most of the old arguments about reliability and ease of use have disappeared.
However, it appears that your daughter is accustomed to Macs and the course is
based around Mac systems and software so a Windows PC will probably be an
unwelcome complication. Deals and discounts on MacBooks tend to be few and far
between but it’s worth asking at your local Apple store about refurbished
models and there are a number of student discount schemes, which may be
available through her University, or try www.jigsaw24.com
for special offers
© R. Maybury 2008 2912