We Have A Problem 082, 05/12/09
HD Coming Soon?
One of the
reasons given for the recent re-tuning of Freeview channels was to pave the way
for the transmission of HD programmes. If I purchased a 1080p HDTV equipped
with a Freeview tuner today, would I be able to receive HD programmes when they
are eventually transmitted?
Barlow, by email
certainly not. Test transmissions are now underway in a couple of TV regions
but the national rollout of the four proposed Freeview HD channels will take
place between late 2010 and 2012. In order to receive them you will a special
Freeview HD set-top box or TV with a built in tuner. Several receivers purport
to have this capability but being an early adopter with any new technology or
format can be a very risky business. It’s possible that some current Freeview
HDTVs can be upgraded or retrofitted but it’s far more likely that
manufacturers will concentrate their efforts on introducing new HD models.
purchase of a digital projector and laptop computer has opened up many new
possibilities for the lectures and presentations at our retired peoples’
learning group. Our own members and visitors bring their PowerPoint files and
slides on CDs, DVDs and USB sticks.
access the Internet at the rented meeting rooms we use and so this prevents us
from downloading security updates or maintaining virus control software. We are
concerned that there may be a transfer of a virus or other threats through this
arrangement or, with the risk of many users, unauthorised use of the computer.
Can you advise on how we protect ourselves from any possible risk?
security applications operate all of the time and are independent of the
Internet; they only require an occasional connection to download new
‘signature’ files. Provided you can access the Internet and update your
software once or twice a week you should be covered against all but the most
recent threats, which you are very unlikely to encounter on PowerPoint files
and recordable media, unless of course a technically savvy member of group has
On a more
serious note, there are a couple of steps you can take to ensure that no harm
comes to your laptop. The first method is to install a ‘Virtual PC’.
Essentially this is a piece of software that creates PC within a PC. If the
virtual PC is infected or suffers a fatal crash the ‘real’ PC and operating in
which it is running will be unaffected. The new Windows 7 operating system has
a Virtual PC built in but if you are running XP or Vista you can try it for
yourself with a free download from Microsoft called Virtual PC 2007 (http://tinyurl.com/yeul4gq).
is to install a copy of the Linux operating system on your laptop so you have a
choice of operating systems at boot up. Most versions of Linux come with
OpenOffice.Org, a suite of programs similar to Microsoft Office. This includes
an AV presentation program that’s compatible with PowerPoint, and like Linux it
is virtually immune to viruses and malware infections. There is a simple to
follow tutorial on dual-booting Linux and Windows in Boot Camp 446 (http://tinyurl.com/cguygj)
Freesat TV using a Humax receiver. If I tell the set up my postcode is RG26 I
get ITV 1 Central Southern and London channels. If I tell the set up my
postcode is PH1 I get ITV 1 Scottish Television and London channels. How do I
get Central Southern and STV together, without London ITV? Is there a magic
Not as far
as I’m aware but as you have discovered you can switch regions by changing the
postcode. This is a useful fix for Freesat viewers in some remote parts of the
UK and overseas who cannot receive broadcasts due to the receiver’s software
not recognising their location. There’s a handy list of postcodes that you can
use to fool the receiver into thinking it’s in a particular region on the Satellites.co.uk
website at: http://tinyurl.com/yakt4xk
I have a
variety of Microsoft manuals, and one for an IBM PS/1 PC; all dating from
January 1993, when I had my first PC. They cover Windows (v.3.1), MS Word,
Office, Word for Windows, Excel and other related items. They take up a lot of
shelf space and are very heavy; are they likely to be of any use or interest to
anyone, or do I put them in the re-cycling bin?
I have a
very similar collection and judging by what I see on many charity shop
bookshelves we are not alone. Maybe they’ll become sought after collector’s
items in 50 years but at the moment they have little or no value. They were
printed in vast numbers and to be honest there’s very little demand for outdated computer manuals, moreover most, if not all of them, are
available in online archives.
I am thinking about
buying a small netbook or notebook PC, which I will use mainly for my genealogy
studies. Can you tell me how to get my family tree program on to a
notebook PC without a disc drive (I have the original CDs)?
P A Townsend, by
cases you can copy the entire contents of an installation disc to a blank USB
stick. When you plug it into the PC the program setup usually starts
automatically and it installs in exactly the same way as a CD. Occasionally
this doesn’t work, in which case you will have to open the disc in Windows
Explorer and double-click on the Setup icon to manually start it. A small
number of installation discs cannot be copied to a USB drive but again it’s not
a problem. The solution is to use an external CD/DVD drive, which are widely
available for £30 or so. It plugs into one of the PC’s USB ports and once the
computer has recognised it you can use it in exactly the same way as an
Maybury 2009 0911