We Have A Problem 102, 01/05/10
outset I have used my left hand to guide the mouse, thinking to leave the right
free for taking notes or whatever. But I cannot remember ever noticing anyone
using the left in offices or shops. Visiting a 16-booth Internet centre four
times last summer I never saw left-handed mouse use and only once saw one that
had been left by a previous user on the left hand side of the keyboard.
Right-handed mouse use seems to be almost one hundred percent - but this
doesn't seem to tally with the 7 to 10 percent of people who are left-handed.
interesting observation but I haven’t been able to find any definitive research
on this topic. However, it turns out that in a world heavily biased towards
right-handedness, and as you ably demonstrate, many left-handers develop a
degree of ambidexterity. In other words it could just be simple expediency. In
an Internet café, for example, for a short session it may be easier for an
adept left-hooker to use the mouse in its default right-handed configuration,
rather than mess around resetting the buttons for left hand use, and re-routing
the cable. Alternative theories are very welcome.
is currently working abroad and keeps in contact with the family via Skype. He
chats to our daughter and year-old granddaughter. The baby loves her Mum's
laptop and hits keys randomly with unexpected results! Is it possible to lock
the keyboard while using Skype?
Crewdson, by email
small freeware program called Toddler Trap (http://tinyurl.com/28mzor). It confines all keyboard entries
to a small text box but running programs, like Skype are unaffected – as long
as they don’t require any keyboard actions. It’s also handy if you want to
clean the keyboard whilst the PC is on. To restore normal operation all you
have to do is click on the program’s close icon, which is unlikely to happen by
accident, even if the baby is playing with the mouse.
I let a
house divided into four flats to student couples and supply wired broadband
from a single router to 8 outlets. Sometimes the tenants contact me to complain
that it isn’t working. Rebooting the router usually works, but if it needs
rebooting again soon after, could it be that one of the PCs has a virus? How
can l find out who is to blame, and what can be done? Also, if they are
downloading illegal files, am l ultimately liable in law?
are largely unaffected by the data that flows through them so I think it is
extremely unlikely that a virus or anything on the computers connected to it
are causing it to crash. Since you are using wired connections it is possible
that one of the cables is faulty or one of computers has problem with its LAN
port. You should be able to confirm or eliminate that possibility by
disconnecting one cable at a time for a few hours and see if the problem
itself may be faulty so consider replacing it and it may be worth switching to
a wireless router and this would definitely rule out any cabling problems. You
would have to supply wi-fi adaptors to the tenants that do not have them but
they are not expensive and it means that they will be able to use more than one
computer and access the Internet using other devices.
considerable legal ramifications in operating a shared broadband connection and
there have been several cases of network owners being heavily fined after users
downloaded illegal or pirated material. If yours is basically a domestic setup,
shared on an informal basis, then you would be wise to seek advice from the
accommodation services manager at the University and your ISP. You should also
consider installing a system designed specifically for rented properties,
B&Bs and so on, which come with the necessary safeguards and require users
Going to the Dogs
possible to put a logo or strap line onto a PowerPoint slide in the same style
as that seen on digital TV channels?
Brooker, by email
annoying and increasingly intrusive channel logos are called digital on-screen
graphics or ‘Dogs’ and you can easily replicate them in PowerPoint using the
branding or watermarking feature. There’s a simple to follow guide on the
Microsoft Office Online website at: http://tinyurl.com/d5ug4o
Light on Scanner Problems
I have had
my Canon scanner for about 5 years. It hasn’t been heavily used and it was
working fine until a couple of weeks ago after which the scans were all blank.
I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the software.
Marshall, by email
can and do wear out and the most common reason for suddenly producing blank
scans is failure of the cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL). This is a
miniature tube lamp, mounted on the moving scanner head underneath the glass
platen and it is used to illuminate whatever is being scanned. If the light
isn’t coming on when you do a scan then that’s your problem.
be replaced but if you can find anyone to do it I suspect that it will cost you
considerably more than the scanner is worth so it’s usually cheaper to buy a
replacement. It will probably have a higher specification than your old one,
and as an added bonus most new scanners use bright white LEDs for illumination,
which produce more accurate and consistent colours plus they last a great deal
longer and consume less power than CCFLs.
Maybury 0504 2010