Ask Rick 038, 30/03/09, Houston 122, 04/04/09
I have recently installed wireless CCTV cameras. They operate on the
same frequency as my wireless Internet and when I switch on the cameras they
knock out my Internet connection. It's
one or the other! I have changed my router's channel number several times but
the problem remains. Is there any hope?
Terry Braverman, by email
Pollution on the 2.4 - 2.5GHz frequency band used by 802.11g/b
Wi-Fi is a huge problem and it's getting worse as adjacent home networks and
access points overlap, not to mention interference from the growing number of
wireless keyboards and mice, security cameras, audio-video senders, door
chimes, Bluetooth devices, and the list goes on. If, as it seems, you have more
than one wireless camera then you have a real problem. You might just get away
with one camera but the signals from these devices - especially the cheaper
ones -- can be quite strong and may even leak across several channels, blotting
out your Wi-Fi.
It may help to upgrade your router, more upmarket models tend to
be better at rejecting interference on adjacent channels, though you should
also get a matching wireless adaptor, from the same manufacturer, to get the
full benefit. Otherwise you could try
switching to the new 802.11n system, which is much better at dealing with
interference and also has the option to work on the largely vacant 5GHz band.
The only problem is the specifications have yet to finalised and there is no
guarantee that the 'Draft-N' products now on sale will be compatible with
DAB to mp3
Is it possible to convert an mp2 recording made on a DAB radio to
mp3 format so that I can listen to it on my media player and computer?
Jim Leek, by email
It certainly is you can either use Audacity (http://tinyurl.com/5cck9x), the free audio
editor or if you fancy trying something new, have a look at Free Audio Editor (http://tinyurl.com/9fyku7), which has many
of Audacity's most useful features, but is a little easier to use. In both
cases simply open the MP2 file and use Export or SaveAs on the File menu to
save your mp2 file in mp3 format.
Synchronise Outlook Express
I use a PC tower for most of my correspondence, a laptop
occasionally. As a result I have two
sets of emails in the Inbox and Sent Items folders on the two machines. Is it
possible to merge the two sets of files?
I use Outlook Express 6.
Paul Hornsby, by email
Yes it is, and as a one-off exercise it's not too difficult but
keeping them synchronised thereafter is a little more complicated. Basically
you copy the message Store Folder on your laptop PC onto a USB pen drive. Plug
the drive into your desktop PC and use Outlook Express's Import function (on
the File menu) to download the messages from the Store Folder on the USB drive
into the desktop PC's Store Folder. The desktop PC's Store Folder is now fully
merged, so copy that to the USB drive, delete the contents of the laptop's
message folders and repeat the process, importing the contents of the merged
Store folder on the USB drive
It's a bit of a palaver because Outlook Express buries the Store
Folder several layers deep in the XP User directory so to speed things up I
suggest moving the Store Folders into the 'Root' directories of the C: drives
on both machines. To do that open Windows Explorer or My Computer, highlight
the C: drive icon and go to File > New > New Folder and rename it
something like 'Oestore'. In Outlook Express go to Tools > Options, select
the Maintenance tab. Click the Store Folder button then Change, Locate your new
Oestore folder and click OK. This also makes it a lot easier to keep the store
folders synchronised, either by using the Windows 'Briefcase' (see this
archived Boot Camp article http://tinyurl.com/dedpvz)
or one of the many freeware file synchronising utilities. Be warned, however,
this works best when the file structure of both message folders is the same and
if you have any message 'Rules' make sure they're the same for both machines.
I am going to USA for a month and plan to take my 5-year old
laptop. Will the AC power supply that came with the machine be suitable for use
in USA or do I need to obtain a new one.
America. Alayne Treacher, by email
You should be okay. For at least the past ten years virtually all
mains adaptors and chargers have been designed to work on a 100 to 240 volt
50/60Hz supply, but check the label, just in case. Also, don't forget that you
will need an American 2 pin to UK 3 pin mains plug adaptor.
I have a large number of emails with attachments on in Mozilla
Thunderbird that I need to keep indefinitely. How can I save or transfer them
to an external hard drive? I cannot
seem to find where they are stored on my hard drive.
Marty Cohen, by email
In many ways Thunderbird is superior to Outlook Express but
exporting messages is not one of its strong points. On the plus side emails are
stored in plain text format so they can be opened and edited read in any word
processor or a text editor, such as Windows Notepad. However, they're not that
easy to get at, you'll find the location by going to Tools > Account
Settings and the path is displayed in the Message Storage box. It's not very
convenient, either, especially if there's more than a few hundred messages in
your Inbox, if so I would move the ones you want to keep into a new folder to
make them easier to handle.
Better still, install a free Thunderbird add-on called Attachment
Extractor, which you can download from: http://tinyurl.com/yuluag. This makes
it a lot easier to export both messages and attachments together, though you
need to go into Attachment Extractor's Options menu and on the General tab tick
'Make a new name for the attachment...'. and under External Actions tick 'Save
message txt to file...'.
Maybury 2009 0903