Ask Rick/Houston 059, 27/06/09
I have a BlackBerry Curve, which mostly meets my emailing needs on
the hoof but I have recently acquired an Acer netbook, so now I am wondering if
it’s possible to hook it up to the BlackBerry and use it to connect to the
Internet, instead of going to the expense of buying a 3G dongle?
James Lee, by email
It can be done, providing your netbook is running Windows XP, but
it can be an expensive way of accessing the Internet. The trick is to fool your
PC into thinking the BlackBerry is an external modem. You have to install the
BlackBerry Desktop Manager software on the PC and fiddle around with Windows
dial-up networking settings. It’s a bit of a palaver but there’s detailed
instructions for Windows XP, 2000 and Vista on the Vodafone BlackBerry forum
The downside is that you are going to use a lot more data surfing
the web though your PC, compared with the BlackBerry. Depending on your tariff,
it could end up costing you a lot more than a basic pay-as-you-go (PAYG) mobile
broadband deal. There’s some great offers at the moment, in fact Three are
giving away USB dongles, all you pay is the £4.95 post and packing. There’s no
contract, just buy a 1Gb data package as and when you need it. You’ll find
details of the offer at: http://www.3dongle4free.co.uk/
Duplicate Emails Duplicate Emails
I have an annoying problem with my Outlook Express emails, which
arrive in duplicate.
G. Pascall, via email
First check that you haven’t set OE to leave copies of your emails
on your ISP’s sever computer. Go to Tools > Accounts, click on your Account
name then Properties button and select the Advanced tab. Under Delivery make
sure that ‘Leave a copy of message…’ is unchecked. The other possibility is a
corrupt file called pop3uidl.dbx, which
in your message folder and its job is to check for duplicates. It’s easily fixed;
all you have to do is delete the rogue file it and OE will automatically
install a shiny new version the next time it opens. Start by closing OE then go
to Search on the Start menu, select All Files and Folders and in the All or
part of the filename box type ‘pop3uidl.dbx’
then Search. When it has found the file right-click on it, select Rename and
change the .dbx extension to .old (so it is now called Pop3uidl.old),
press Enter, close Windows explorer and that should do the trick.
Every time I open Internet Explorer 7 a page appears that says ‘
Customise Your Settings' and it has to be deleted each time. The page itself is
frozen so cannot be used anyway. How
can I delete it permanently? Nothing
too complicated please!
This has been
annoying a lot of users after they’ve upgraded to the latest version of
Internet Explorer. It's often caused by an incorrect Registry key (the large
database that control Windows) and it makes IE think that it is the first time
it has been launched every time IE is opened, or the initial setup process
wasn't completed. There's a couple of fixes, and the quickest and simplest one
is to download a small freeware tool called RunOnce Remover, which you will
find at: http://tinyurl.com/dmouou. The alternative is to edit the Registry.
It's not difficult but novices avert your eyes, and if you do attempt
it you must set a new System Restore point first then follow the steps to
Here's what you do.
Go to Run on the Start menu and type 'regedit' (without the quotes) then click
OK. Work your way to the following key then double click on it:
down the list in the right-hand pane and look for RunOnceHasShown.
Double click on it and in the Value Data box enter 1 then click OK.
Repeat the procedure for the next entry, which should be RunOnceComplete.
That's it. Exit Regedit and you shouldn't be bothered again.
We live in a small mountain village in Spain and my wife and I run
a small B&B. Six months ago my old laptop started to play up and I was
advised to get a new one. The PCs I could find here had Spanish operating
systems, they were expensive and I speak very little Spanish so I asked a
visiting friend to bring one from England, a Packard Bell model, which came pre
loaded with Vista Home Basic, and that’s where my problems began.
Some of my very old programs do not run under Vista but worst of
all my Skype phone just wont work. I contacted the manufacturer and they tell
me it’s not Vista compatible, and I just can’t get a reply of any sort from
either Packard Bell or the retailer. Is it possible to convert this machine to
XP Pro? I have searched the Internet and I am now totally confused.
Ken Silverlock, by email
It might be possible and installing XP certainly isn’t difficult.
Just pop in a ‘Retail’ XP installation disc (not one that came with another
PC), reboot the machine and follow the instructions. However, finding the right
drivers for your machine could be a problem. Drivers are the small programs and
data files that allow the operating system (Windows) to communicate with and
control the various bits of hardware in your computer. Therefore, the first thing
to do is check to see if a full set of XP drivers are available for your
particular model from the Packard Bell website, if not then you are stuck.
There may be alternative drivers available but they are likely to be difficult
to find, or require some expertise to use.
In the end I think it would be a lot simpler to stick with Vista
and just buy a new Skype phone. They’re not expensive these days, I’ve seen
them selling for under £10 online, and there are workarounds and fixes for most
Vista software compatibility problems.
© R. Maybury 2009 1205