Ask Rick 2009 & Houston We Have a Problem 09



Ask Rick 040, 06/04/09 &

Houston 123, 11/04/09 & 124 18/04/09


A Date with Picasa

I use Picasa 3 on my Windows XP laptop to manage my pics. I would like to be able to print the date and a caption. The print options allow you to select the 'Exif' tab but this gives you the photo data, which is not normally displayed. Is there any easy way to select the date? I believe my Pentax digital camera has a date print option, which I have yet to find.

Geoff Hale, by email


As far as I'm aware there's no automated facility in Picasa to print the date and a caption together but it's easy enough to do manually. Simply type your caption and the date into the 'Make a caption' box below the image in picture view mode. If you can't remember when it was taken just right-click the image, select Properties and the date is displayed next to the file size. When you want to print the picture click 'Border and Text options under Print Layout then in the Additional Printing Option box that appears click Caption. Choose the font, size and colour and click OK. You might also like to have a look at a freeware utility called Photo Dater (, this lets you add a date caption to single files or whole directories. It creates new captioned images so the originals are preserved. It's not very sophisticated but it is very small (just 164kb) and simple to use.


I am sure that your camera has a date print option but you'll have to consult the manual to find out how to enable it. However, if you do switch it on it will be permanently 'burned' into the image, possibly obscuring some important or interesting detail, so it's better to add things like this at the printing stage and keep the original images in pristine condition.



Deleting Attachments

I am using Outlook Express Version 6 with Windows XP Pro.  My question: Can I delete an attached file from the email, but still keep the email? If so, how? 

George Birch, by email


Unlike Outlook there is in no facility in Outlook Express to remove attachments and this turned out to be a surprisingly tricky problem. There are a couple of applications on the market, Attachment Extractor and Attachment Remover, but these are commercial programs, so the challenge was to find a way to do it for free. I did manage to find a procedure that involves editing the email file, it's far too long to go into here but if you are interested go to: However. In the end I think the easiest solution is to Forward the email to yourself, before you click the Send button, right-click on the attachment icon and select Remove. After you've downloaded the Forwarded email delete the original message.



Recording Skype Conversations

I am having language lessons by Skype, using a headset.  I want to record the lessons so that I can play them back.  I have tried using Audacity, but I can only record my input (the microphone) and not the other party (the headphones). Is there a way to record both?

David McClure, by email


There is and a free program called Skype Recorder ( will do the job. It's part of a larger application called PowerGramo and the freebie utility it has a number of limitations. For example, it only records Skype-to-Skype calls and you can't record multi-way conversations. If that's a problem then consider upgrading to the paid-for version of PowerGramo.



Multiple Emails in Outlook

I have recently installed Microsoft Office Home and Student version 2007 and since then I have had trouble with sending emails. Instead of one being sent, the program sends multiple emails, sometimes up to 10 at a time. Is there any way I can stop this happening?

Mark Roberts, by email


There are several possibilities. Some sufferers have found that it stops when they disable the outgoing email checks in their security software, so I would try that first. Otherwise it can be due to an over-full Sent folder, though this seems unlikely in your case, as it probably hasn't had a chance to fill up. For the record the solution is to create a new folder, call it SentOld, copy the contents of Sent items into it then empty Sent Items. If that doesn't work then a rather drastic, but often successful remedy for this and a number of other niggling problems is to create a new Outlook profile.



Missing Audio Options

Following recommendations made by you on several occasions I have installed the Audacity recording and editing program on my Packard Bell laptop, which runs on Windows Vista. The trouble is it only records through the laptop's built-in microphone and I cannot find a way of making it record from CDs or downloads. I looked through your archives and found what sounded like a solution, namely going into Audacity's Preference menu and changing the settings on the Audio I/O tab but it still shows the microphone as the only choice under recording. I have tried removing and re-installing Audacity and running a Registry cleaner but it's still the same. Do you have any other suggestions?

Chris Farnell, by email


Vista's audio are a bit convoluted and I have seen this problem before. Open Control Panel on the Start menu, double-click the Sounds icon and select the Recording tab. My guess only the microphone icon is displayed, if so right-click into an empty part of the panel and check the items 'Show disabled devices' and Show disconnected devices'. This should bring up your PC's missing audio options. Right click on 'Stereo Mix', select Properties then on the Device Usage, drop-down menu at the bottom click 'Use this device' and click OK. Do the same for any other devices displayed. Highlight the Stereo Mix entry and click the Set Default button. Now, go back to Audacity's Preference menu and the extra input options should now be available. 





© R. Maybury 2009 1603

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