Ask Rick 2009 & Houston We Have a Problem 09



Ask Rick 029, 27/02/09 & Houston 120, 14/03/09


Pod Blast

Having used an iPod Classic in my car for the last year, I have been able to keep it charged either by the connection in the car, by a ‘house’ charger, and obviously by a USB connection to my PC. I was given a brand new iPod Touch last week, however, when I plugged it in to connection in the car a notice on the iTouch appeared, saying:  ‘Charging is not supported with this accessory’. I then connected it to the charger, which I’ve been happily using on my year old iPod Classic only to have the same notice appear.


I contacted the car radio installer only to be told that the latest iPods have been ‘upgraded’, which meant that new chargers were necessary. To avoid having to connect my iPod to the PC every time it needed charging I had to purchase a new charger from a local iPod shop.


Sorry about the rant but I do get annoyed when products are upgraded, which in turn means that new accessories have to be purchased in order to ensure compatibility.

Mark Randall, Tunbridge Wells


This has irritated a great many iPod users and it’s actually due to a downgrade, rather than an upgrade. As you know all iPods charge through the 30-pin connector and until the change iPods were designed to charge from a 12-volt DC feed, derived from a FireWire connections, or the 5-volt feed that’s present on a USB cable. Apple decided to drop FireWire support on iPods back in 2005 but it took a while for this to be implemented, and apparently even longer for the news to filter through to accessory manufacturers, who continued to only use the 12-volt line for charging on docks and other iPod gadgets. Car charger and vehicle accessory makers in particular seem to have slow to respond, and some just haven’t bothered, possibly because it is easier and cheaper to make 12-volt chargers as pretty well all cars have 12-volt electrical systems.


Playing in the Stream

I want to stream my DRM free iTunes music and other media, including photos, to my Sony PS3 games console from my Windows XP computer. Are there any good programs for doing this?

Tom Pike, by email


You should be able to use Windows Media Player, however, for it to work reliably the games console needs the latest firmware ( and WMP 11 for XP, earlier versions tend to be a bit hit and miss, and don’t forget, the PC and PS3 have to be connected to the same network.


To set it up make sure the PS3 is on and connected to your network. Open WMP and go to Tools > Options > Library and select the Configure Sharing tab. Tick the ‘Share my media’ box and the PS3 should appear as an’ Unknown Device’. Select it, click the Customize button and ensure that Access is set to Allow. Next, click the Settings button and choose the media types you want to share and click OK. If you are having problems seeing the PS3 on the PC check your PC’s firewall settings.


That’s about it. The PS3 should now be displaying Windows Media icons next to the media types now available from the PC on the XMB (Cross Media Bar).


If for any reason you can’t get it to work you can try a piece of free media streaming software called Tversity (, however, it’s fairly well loaded with toolbars and other bits and pieces you might not want or need, so pay attention during the installation and uncheck anything you’re not happy with. 



Stop Repeating Yourself

I have MS Office Home and Student installed on my computer, which uses Vista operating system. Currently I am having great problems with Word. For example I am typing a letter and type, say, the letter ‘l’ it then repeats lll….. . This also happens with other letters. When I backspace to eliminate the extra letters, it goes into overdrive and even eats up previously correctly typed words. If I hit ‘Enter’ instead of moving down one line it may move down as many as 6 or 7 lines. I have tried repairing Word as well as removing the program and re-installing it but to no avail. Any suggestions or help would be gratefully received

John Symington, by email


This has nothing to do with Word, it’s the keyboard Repetition Rate, which is a Windows setting and clearly set too high for your way of working. You can adjust it by going to Start > Control Panel > Keyboard. On the Speed tab you will see two sliders. The top one adjusts how long it takes for the repeat action to engage when you hold down a key; I would set this about one third of the way across. The second slider controls the speed of the repeat action, set this to halfway or less. Click OK and see how you get on.



Point Blank

All of my desktop icons, except Recycle Bin and Internet Explorer, have little black upward pointing arrows in a white box in their bottom left-hand corner. Is there any way of getting rid of them? I am running Window XP Professional.

David Stringer, by email


The ‘shortcut arrows’ on desktop icons used to vex a lot of people but for some reason it has been a while since anyone asked about this one so here’s how to do it. Download and install a free Microsoft ‘PowerToy’ utility called Teak UI for XP ( Launch it from the All Programs menu then go to Explorer > Shortcut and remove or modify the arrow as required. While you are at it have a look at what else Tweak UI can do, it’s a really handy little tool for changing the way Windows looks and works.








© R. Maybury 2009 0302


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