Ask Rick 2009 & Houston We Have a Problem 09



Ask Rick 039, 03/04/09 & Houston 123, 11/04/09


Little Linux and Mobile Broadband

In order to access my emails when on holiday and during lunch times at the office and not being too technically minded I thought a cheap and cheerful Asus Eee PC (701 SD) was the answer for occasional Internet connection. I believe it will pick up the Internet at Wi-Fi hotspots but as this isn't the case in the office I need to purchase some sort of mobile broadband.


I keep reading however that most dongles offered by the high street chains are not compatible with the Linux system that runs on these PC's.  Please don't tell me I've wasted £176?  Is there anything out there on the market?

Mrs Lynda McVann, by email


It wasn't a waste and some phone suppliers sell Eee PC and 3G mobile bundles. The only thing to watch out for is that suitable Linux drivers for some very recent dongles may not be available yet, or difficult to find. However, you can't go far wrong with the popular Huawei E220 3G modem, which has been 'branded' by almost all mobile networks at one time or another and support for this model is built into the Eee PC. There's a plentiful supply of them on ebay, where you can find them selling from £30 upwards. The trick is to get it 'unlocked (this costs around £5 - £10 online) then you can use pay-as-you-go 3G mobile broadband SIM cards from UK and overseas networks. If you opt for the Windows XP version of the Eee PC, or install a copy of XP yourself (see Boot Camp 555, it is even easier.  



It's all Black and White

My laptop runs on Windows Vista Premium and I recently bought a cable that connects from the TV out port (S-Video) on the computer to the sockets on my television. I do get a fairly good picture of the laptop screen on the TV, but it is in black and white. I have altered the resolution and tried various ways of rectifying this to no avail. On the Internet I find many people have encountered the same problem. Is there a solution to this, please? Sincerely. Norman Samuels


It sounds as though the TV or the laptop hasn't been set up for the S-Video connection. S-Video, also known as 'Separated' video or Y/C splits a video signal in two parts, the Luminance or 'Y' component carries brightness information and Chroma or 'C' is the colour part of the signal. I suspect that you are seeing the Luminance signal on the TV, which on its own produces a black and white picture. Check your laptop's video adaptor Properties menu (right desktop > Personalize and under Tasks click 'Connect to an external display') if there's a S-Video output option make sure it is enabled. Otherwise check your TV's setup menu and the input options, where you may find a 'switch' for its S-Video input facility.



Printer Preference

I have a laptop with Windows Vista and I currently use a Lexmark printer. I have just bought a new HP printer and I would like to use it instead.  Can I override the Lexmark program once the HP printer software is installed?

Norman Gilby, by email


You will be pleased to know that you can have as many printers as you like on your computer (sockets permitting...), just install the new printer as normal. It will probably become the default printer and automatically selected by all applications on your computer, but if it doesn't, or you want to change it you can do so by opening Printers in Control Panel. Select the printer's icon and click 'Set as default' on the toolbar. Otherwise you can manually choose the printer that you want to use from a drop down menu that normally appears when you select Print/Print Setup on an application's File menu.



Access Denied

My desktop PC and laptop both run Windows XP and are linked by cable and wireless to my home network hub. There are no problems with the lap top but the desktop PC has lost Internet access even though the

network connection is shown as live. I have tried System Restore, re-connecting to the network, switching off the Firewall, removing and reloading software but with no success. There seems to be some kind of software or set-up barrier and it began after trying to load Norton 360 on my PC. I cannot access it because it needs an Internet connection to initialise. Any clues as to how to fix this problem?

Chris Flint, Ipswich


It seems fairly clear that Norton 360 is responsible for the blockage so the first thing to do is remove it. However, as you have found out this is easier said than done. Doubtless, in response to frustrated users, Symantec has developed a removal tool and you can download this from:, Hopefully this will restore your connection, just don't forget to install some security software, and given your past experiences you might want to try another brand or one of the freebie anti-virus programs, such as AVG, Avast! or Avira (



Delivery Problems

Every time I boot up my laptop running Vista Home Premium I get the message 'Delivery Manager Has Stopped Working' and that Windows is searching for a remedy. This it appears to do nothing. My computer appears to work OK despite this error message but I would like to know if anything detrimental has actually happened behind the scenes?

John De Maria, by email


There's no need to worry, this error message usually generated by a faulty or corrupt peer-to-peer download manager called Kontiki, which is set to launch at startup. This is a component used by online video services like BBC iPlayer and 4OD and the simple solution is to uninstall the application then reinstall it. To make sure the uninstallation is complete I recommend that you use a freeware utility called Revo Uninstaller (, which will make sure that nothing gets left behind.





© R. Maybury 2009 1003

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