Houston We Have a Problem 09



Houston 060, 04/07/09


DAB Dementia

Recently my DAB Radio has begun to randomly lose its pre-set station memory. I have been in touch with the manufacturers, they seemed aware of the problem, explaining that the radio was not at fault but probably lay in a bug in the DAB signal. Is this possible?  Does it affect other makes of Radio? Could this be caused by a virus in the broadcasting system?  Do you know what is being done to solve the problem?

Anthony Hall-Fletcher


You can stop worrying about viruses and bugs; it’s usually due to something a lot simpler, like careless design or reception problems. Several models suffer from amnesia if the signal dips below a pre-set level – not uncommon in a marginal reception area -- or the radio is moved to a new location. When this happens the receiver dumps the stored presets and re-scans the band for stations. Some receivers rely on a backup battery to power the memory chip that stores the station list when it is switched off or unplugged. If the radio is disconnected from the main supply, or not used for a while the backup battery runs down and the data is lost. Of course it could just be a good old fashioned fault, so if its still under warranty and it has only recently started losing its memory, take it back to the retailer and ask them to check it out.   



Prevent Past Pictures

A few weeks ago you dealt with a problem concerning images appearing in the body of a received email. Great, done that, but is there any way you can stop pictures, which are attached to emails appearing in the body of my copy of Sent mail? 

Leslie Emment, by email


You can’t do it retrospectively to messages that have already been sent but you can stop it happening on all future sent messages by going to Tools > Options > Send > HTML Settings and uncheck 'Send pictures with messages'.



Gridlock in Word

Somehow I have set Word 2007 to show a grid pattern on every new document. Even when I open an existing letter instead of a blank background it will have the grid pattern superimposed on it. How can I revert to having a blank page?

Vic Adams, Grimsby


Most recent versions of Word have a facility to display a grid, which can be useful for aligning objects on the page. Prior to Word 2007 this facility could be found on the Drawing Toolbar; to enable or disable it click the Draw menu, select Grid and uncheck ‘Display Gridlines on Screen. The Drawing toolbar was replaced in Word 2007, so this time display the Page Layout ribbon, click the Format tab, select the Align button then Grid Settings and uncheck ‘Display Gridlines….’



Drive for Improvement

I have recently bought a small Acer netbook PC running Windows XP and I would like to install Roxio Photo Creator on it, but the program is on a disc, and this machine doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive. How can I do this?

Marilyn Hilton, by email


You have a couple of options. You can either buy an external CD/DVD drive, which plugs into one of the laptop’s USB ports; prices start at around £20 from online sellers. The alternative is to use Windows Explorer on your desktop PC to copy the entire contents of the CD onto a USB memory stick (delete any other files it may contain beforehand). When you pop the drive that into the laptop’s USB port the installation should start automatically, otherwise you can start it manually by opening the drive in Windows Explorer and double-clicking on the program’s ‘setup’ or ‘install’ file.



Word Alternative

My PC runs Vista Basic and I have Word Reader installed, which means I can open but not edit and reply to Word attachments sent by email. I am not sure if I have enough disk space to fully install OpenOffice, so could I just select the ‘Write’ section? (I have 38.6Gb of free space out of 64.4Gb).

Mrs C. Corcoran, by email


In fact you have plenty of room. The standard OpenOffice installation takes up just 650Mb and you can trim this further by choosing the Custom option when you install the program. Otherwise, if all you need is a basic Word-compatible word processor, try AbiWord. It’s small (it consumes just 16Mb of space); it is easy to use and completely free. You’ll find a link to the download at: http://tinyurl.com/28hx9k



Obstinate Addresses

Can you please tell me how to get rid of a disused email address in Outlook Express? If I put an ‘r’ in the To: line, to send an email, an address comes up which is years old and no longer in the Contacts folder.   The string must be somewhere and I would like to delete it.

R Mynett, by email


This information is stored in a protected section of the Windows Registry and it is not easy to get at. There are some commercial programs that claim to be able to edit this data but I haven’t used them so I cannot make any recommendations. There are a couple of workarounds, though and the quick and dirty fix is to switch off the address auto complete feature. All you have to do is go to Tools > Options, select the Send tab and uncheck the item ‘Automatically complete email addresses when composing’.


Method number two is to create a new OE Identity (File > Identities > Add new Identity). Give it a name, fill out all of the details to set up new email accounts and finally, import the Messages and Address Book from your old Identity, which will ignore any deleted entries. Once you are happy that it’s working properly you can delete the original Identity and switch to using the new one full time.





© R. Maybury 2009 2206


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