We Have A Problem 088, 23/01/10
I recently upgraded my home computer and bought a laptop. I
now access the net through a mobile phone dongle with a monthly download
allowance of 1.5Gb.
The sales assistant who sold me the laptop told me that if I
watch a TV programme or a video on the net I wouldn’t be downloading, I would
be ‘streaming’. The assistant at the mobile phone shop said the opposite and
that by watching one programme a day I would quickly exceed my limit. Who is
Bill Johnson, by email
The first sales
assistant is either an idiot or has shares in a mobile phone company. For any
given video or TV programme the same amount of data passes through your dongle
whether it is streamed or downloaded. The only difference is that you watch a
streamed video in real time, as it comes down the pipe whereas with
downloading you save the whole program to your hard drive and watch it later.
My eyes are becoming increasingly bothered by the bright
background whiteness to text, especially when emailing or using Word. Is there
any means by which I can subdue the background? I am using Windows XP.
Pamela Dormer, Devon
that reducing the screen brightness doesn’t help there is a way to globally
reduce the whiteness of the text input boxes used by most Windows applications.
Right click on an empty part of the desktop, select Properties then the
Appearance tab and click the Advanced button. (In Vista and Windows 7 select
Personalize > Windows Colour and Appearance > Open Classic Appearance
Properties… and click the Advanced button).
click in the ‘Window Text’ box. Under ‘Item’ click the drop-down menu arrow
next to ‘Color 1’ then the ‘Other’ button. Move the slider to the right of the
colour palette down a little – try a Luminance (Lum) value of 200 – 230 -- and
this adds a touch of grey to the white screen. Keep clicking OK to close the
boxes and see how this looks in Word and OE. If it is still too bright, or too
dark go back and try a different Lum value.
just bought a TD-Link wireless router for my home but the walls are thick and
coverage is poor. A friend has given me a new Netgear router and I have found
that if I use both routers simultaneously they cancel each other out. My
question is, can I link the two routers wirelessly? The TP-Link router is the
main router connected to the phone line and the Netgear will just have its
power supply on to collect and retransmit the TP-Link signal. If you could
point me in the right direction I will be most grateful.
Williams, by email
possible to configure some routers to work as ‘repeaters’ or range extenders
but it involves a fair amount of tinkering with the second routers
configuration menu. If you want to have a stab at it there are some reasonably
easy to follow generic instructions at: http://tinyurl.com/yehqy78.
signal strength is borderline where you want to use your PC or laptop then you
might find that fitting an external antenna to the router helps, especially if
it is a high performance type and you should find that the higher up it is.
Otherwise a purpose-designed repeater should do the trick and they’re not
terribly expensive. A quick trawl of online suppliers revealed several models
selling for less than £30.00.
lot of trains now have free wi-fi but I am worried about using a portable on a
train, as they tend to rock and judder quite a lot. Are portables designed to
absorb these movements, or is it possible I could damage the hard disk if the
computer is switched on?
Clynes, by email
hard drives are pretty rugged and designed to withstand a fair amount of shock
and vibration so I wouldn’t expect the relatively minor rumbles and bumps of a
rail journey to cause any problems. On the other hand if said laptop were
switched on and fell off your lap, or a table onto a hard surface, then it
might well come to grief, though some models have built-in accelerometers that
can detect a fall and automatically ‘park’ the heads to stop them damaging the
discs or platters. Even if the drive survives, a drop of more than a 20 – 30
centimetres will probably result in a cracked screen or damage other components
inside the machine. If you are seriously clumsy, very unlucky or regularly
travel on a particularly bumpy railway lines then get a netbook or laptop that
uses a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a normal hard drive. If you are still
worried then consider a ‘ruggedised’ PC that’s designed to withstand extreme
Microsoft Office Outlook for my emails. When friends change their email
addresses, I religiously delete the old one from the address book and then
insert the new one. However, when I send an email to one of those people the
blue prompt comes up underneath. It still has the two email addresses on it,
the new one and the ‘deleted’ one. How can I get the deleted ones off the
Rydon, by email
the handiwork of Outlook’s AutoComplete feature and in theory all you have to
do is right-click on the errant address when it appears and select Delete and
this should remove it from the stored list. However, this doesn’t always work,
in which case you can disable the email address AutoComplete by going to Tools
> Options > Preferences > Email Options and uncheck ‘Suggest names
when completing To, CC, and Bcc fields’. If all else fails you can reset
(delete) the AutoComplete cache in Outlook, there’s a detailed guide in
Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 287623 at: http://tinyurl.com/ya84qur
Maybury 2010 2812