Houston We Have a Problem 10



Houston We Have A Problem 99, 10/04/10


Picasa Face-Off

I have installed Picasa on my new Windows 7 desktop computer. My photographs have been successfully downloaded Picasa has now decided to extract 3282 ‘faces’ in 936 groups, which I neither requested, or want to keep. When I tried to delete the faces I got an error message that said they couldn’t be deleted. Do I have a virus?

John Hazzard, Shrewsbury


No virus, just a minor irritant. Picasa’s facial recognition feature (version 3.5 onwards) is actually quite clever. It scans through your stored images, picking out faces, which you can identify and use to help organise your photo library. Like you some users find it intrusive, and its not immediately obvious how you switch it off which can make it even more annoying.


It’s not a problem, though, just go to Tools > Options > Name Tags tab. Uncheck the boxes for Enable Face Recognition and Enable Suggestions and click OK. To delete the album go to Tools > Folder Manager and on the Folder List click Desktop. On ‘For the Current Folder’ option click Face Detection to toggle the feature on and off. Alternatively right-click on a face shown in the People Album and select Delete People Album.



Hotmail to Hard Disk

I have a lot of old emails relating to my late brother's estate that I don’t want to lose. These are stored in Hotmail. Do you know any way of getting them out and on to disk, memory stick or remote hard drive? The only solution I can see is to print them to paper, which seems a bit daft! I'm fearful that in time they will just get deleted.

Neil Orchard, by email


It can be done but they don’t make it easy. The simplest method – if you have it -- is to use Outlook (2003 or later) and the Outlook Connector Add-on; there are more details at: http://tinyurl.com/37t66u. Outlook Express and Windows Mail can only access paid-for 

Hotmail accounts. 


If you don’t have Outlook and, like most people, your brother had a free Hotmail account the solution is to download and install the free Mozilla Thunderbird email program (http://tinyurl.com/yflb8cu), followed by the Webmail Extension (http://tinyurl.com/d22a9), which integrates the program with Hotmail and allows messages to be downloaded.



Unfavourable Aspect

Having used Windows Movie Maker for a while I'm now trying to come to terms with Windows Live Movie Maker.  It is very simple and fast, but the output videos appear in a letterbox in the middle of a black screen.  When I go to full screen mode the picture is only about two thirds of the screen size. I've searched all the menus I can find, but can't see a way of changing it.  Dave Briggs, by email


Live Movie Maker is a big improvement on the older versions of Movie Maker but Microsoft has assumed, rightly or wrongly, that most users will be shooting and viewing their videos in widescreen format. It sounds as though you are editing older style 4:3 format material, in which case all you have to do is go to the View menu, select Aspect Ratio and switch from widescreen to 4:3 mode.



Email Early for Christmas

Over the Christmas period I received several emails with animated Father Christmas's, twinkling Christmas trees and carols etc. So that I am ready for this year, how do you produce these please?

Dale Broad


I am hesitant to tell you for fear of annoying your family and friends but on condition that you don’t send any to me, here’s how. Incidentally, this method is for Outlook Express but it’s basically the same for Windows Mail.


Step one, download and save an animated Santa onto your PC – there’s a fine selection at: http://tinyurl.com/5sawy3. Once that’s done open a new email window, select Rich HTML on the Format menu, decide where you want it to appear then go to Insert > Picture, locate your saved Santa .gif file and click OK. Next, go to View, select Source Edit, click the Source button at the bottom then highlight the code between <BODY> and </BODY>. Right click on the highlighted code and select Copy. Open Notepad, Paste the copy and save the file as santasig.html in My Documents. Finally, go back to OE, select Tools > Options > Signature tab, click New, select File under Edit Signature and use the Browse button to locate your signature file and click OK and you are in the dancing Santa business.



Word Jumble

Many years ago when I did not know better I saved some pictures in Word format. I would now like to extract the pictures but I have been unable to do so.  'Copy' and then 'Save As jpeg' does not work.

Mike Williamson, by email


As you have discovered, once you include images in a Word document and then save it, the images become embedded and cannot be separated out, at least not easily. There is a solution, though, and that’s to go to SaveAs on the Word File menu and in the Save as Type drop-down menu select Web page. All you have to do now is open the saved HTML file folder and inside you will find the elusive jpegs



Open Standard

We have a PC bought in 2006, which came with OpenOffice 2.03 already installed. I receive attachments to emails, which I find can be opened if they are in Microsoft Word 97-2003 but not if they were created in Word 2007. Is there a fix that will enable OpenOffice to open Word 2007 documents?

Ray Dean, by email


The problem is due to the XML formatting applied to documents created in Word 20097 (and later); these files are easy to spot as they have a .docx extension. Older versions of Word can be updated to open docx files (see http://tinyurl.com/yzxlw65), but Open Office has always struggled with the new format, until now. XML support is now built into the latest release of OpenOffice (V3.2), which you can download from www.openoffice.org, and yes, it is still free.




© R. Maybury 1503 2010


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