Houston We Have A Problem 118 21/08/10
Touch of Bother
I am having problems connecting my iPod Touch to my home
wireless network. It used to work but now every time I choose the Wi-Fi network
name from the list and select Join I am asked to enter my network code. This I
do, and then it tells me it is unable to connect. I bought it when the iPod
Touch first came out and it hasn’t been used for a while. Could there be a
problem with the software not having been updated recently?
Jenny Roberts, by email
I doubt very much that it’s a software issue. The first
thing to do is check the iPod’s time and date settings. If the battery ran down
it’s probably showing January 2000 or something similar and this can cause
connection problems. If it is correct select the connection’s Properties icon
(the middle one), click ‘Forget this connection’ then go back, rescan for
networks and try again. Finally, switch off all of the PC’s or laptops that
connect to your network (and don’t forget your iPod Touch), then switch off the
router. Switch the router on again and when the Internet light is lit up or
steady fire up the iPod Touch on and have another go.
Xbox to PC?
Is it possible to run and play an Xbox 360 through a
computer and monitor screen? I have been getting a lot of conflicting advice as
to whether this is possible.
Colin Holton, by email
You can access the Internet and multimedia files on your PC
with your Xbox through a network connection – for more information go to http://tinyurl.com/3xubj3w and
there’s nothing to stop you linking it up to a standard PC monitor, instead of
a TV. You may even notice an improvement in picture quality. All you need is an
Xbox to VGA cable. These are readily available online and from games shops;
prices start at around £7.50. Later models with HDMI sockets can connect
directly to suitably equipped TVs and monitors with a standard HDMI cable. By
the way, if you are using an Xbox to VGA lead you will also need a separate
audio lead to connect the Xbox to the monitor’s internal speakers, or you could
use a pair of ‘active’ or amplified PC speakers.
Obsolete Password Program
A handy program called Oubliette worked well on my Windows
XP computer, but evidently it is incompatible with Windows 7. Is there any way
I can get it to work?
Mike Jarvis, by email
Oubliette was a freeware password database and encryption
utility. It was written more than ten years ago, initially for Windows 9x, and
later revised for XP so by any reckoning it is getting on a bit. A lot of older
programs have problems running under Windows 7 and updating involves a
considerable amount of time and effort, so it’s not altogether surprising that
the author of this program has decided to call it a day.
Fortunately there are plenty of alternatives. KeePass (http://tinyurl.com/yrwo3h) and
Password Safe (http://tinyurl.com/599ob)
both look like worthy successors to Oubliette; they are also published
under the Open Source agreement so they won’t cost you a bean.
When closing down my computer the message ‘monitor going to
sleep’ has suddenly been replaced by what look like Chinese characters. Our
local PC dealer cannot help, can you advise?
Pat and Garry Tootall, by email
This is not a PC problem; somehow your monitor’s setup menu
language has been switched to Chinese, though they may be Japanese or Korean.
Refer to the monitor’s handbook to find out how to access the menu. It's
usually on one of the buttons on the front, or tucked away on the underside of
the screen bezel. If you’ve lost the manual press each button in turn and
you’ll eventually find it by trial and error (don’t worry you can’t damage it).
Once you’ve found the menu button pressing it again usually (but not always)
steps through the menu options and eventually you should see one with a variety
of language selections, which you can change back to English.
My teenage daughter bought a new Windows 7 laptop only 2
months ago with her hard earned savings. Recently, when she switched it on she
got the dreaded message 'Operating system not found'. Is this common? We will of course take it straight back to
the shop but I don't want them wiping the drive it as she has all her homework
on it. (No backup I'm afraid despite many times of telling…) Is it possible to save all of her data
before we return it? Should we insist on a replacement rather than a repair?
Susan Coleman, Shrewsbury
It could be something or nothing and these days total hard
drive failures are comparatively rare. However, if it is going to happen it’s
usually in the first few weeks of operation. Either way it requires expert
attention and since it is still under warranty this shouldn’t be a problem.
If you are handy with PCs then prior to taking it back to
the shop you could try booting the laptop with a ‘live’ Linux CD or USB drive.
This is a compact version of the Linux operating system that runs directly from
a CD or USB drive so it doesn’t need to be installed on the hard drive. It will
tell you straight away if the drive is working; if so you can copy your
daughter’s files to a flash drive. You’ll find details of how to make a Linux
rescue disc in Boot Camp (http://tinyurl.com/35bn6d5).
Alternatively the drive can be removed from the laptop and
connected to another PC using an external drive caddy or drive reader. Again,
if it is working it’s a simple enough matter to copy the files, but be warned
that this may invalidate the guarantee.
If you can’t secure the data yourself then you should make
it very clear to the engineer that the drive contains valuable files, so if the
drive is working but the operating system cannot be repaired they must first be
Maybury 2010 1207