Houston We Have a Problem 10



Houston We Have A Problem 130, 13/11/10


Stacking the Odds

My daughter is having problems with Facebook. It has become sluggish and erratic and keeps telling her, ‘Stack Overflow on line 1’. What does this mean and what can she do about it?

John Martin, by email


Stack Overflow error messages normally mean that a program is using more than its allocation of memory. This is known as the ‘call stack’ and it is set when the program is launched. That’s the easy part. Why it happens is another matter and it can be due to a multitude of different things, but here are a few things to try.


My guess is your daughter is using Internet Explorer, if so one very quick and simple cure is to switch to another browser, like Firefox, Chrome and Safari etc. They are all free and there are links to the downloads at: http://goo.gl/mXyw.


If she wants to stay with IE then try disabling any add-ons. In IE go to Tools > Internet Options > Programs tab and click the Manage Add-Ons button. Under Add-On Types click Toolbars and Extensions. Select approximately half the entries (hold down the Shift key and click them one at a time) then click the Disable All button. If the problem persists disable the other half, if at any point the problem disappears you can isolate the culprit by re-enabling them one at a time. By the way, while you are there I would get rid of any extra toolbars that you don’t use, they often cause problems and can really slow IE down.


If that hasn’t helped try this: go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab and in the Settings Box select ‘Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer) and ‘Disable Script Debugging (other)’, click OK and see what happens.


Finally, if all else fails reset IE to its factory defaults. Go to Internet Options > Advanced tab and click the Reset button, read the warnings and if you are happy to proceed confirm by Clicking Reset and then Close.



Live Issue

I have changed my OS from Vista to Windows 7 and I do not like Windows Live Mail. I would like to go back to Windows Mail. Having searched the Internet, the solutions I found were beyond my capabilities. Is there a reasonably simple way around this problem?

Barrie Sharpe, by email


Join the club. Windows Live Mail is far too clever for my liking. Windows Mail, which first appeared in Vista is a very decent, no-frills email program and Outlook Express users feel immediately at home but sadly it’s no longer available. The good news is that it is easily transplanted from Vista to Windows 7. All you need is a Vista PC and a USB memory stick. On the Vista PC open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Program Files and copy the Windows Mail folder to your USB stick. Pop the USB stick into your Windows 7 PC and copy the Windows Mail folder to the same location (C:\Program Files). Once in place open the folder hold down the Ctrl key then click and drag and drop a copy of the winmail.exe icon onto the desktop to create a shortcut. 



Count On Word

I have recently switched to Office 2007 from Office 2003 and although quite different I am getting used to it fairly quickly.  Except I cannot find the word count in Word. Do you know where it is, or has Microsoft not included in this version?

Rosemary Smith


Rest assured Microsoft wouldn’t dare drop this vital feature; in fact it has been enhanced in Word 2007. By default there should be a word count displayed on the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen, next to the page number. This also shows the number of words in a highlighted selection (or selections, hold down the Ctrl key to highlight multiple selections). There’s also a manual word count, which includes text in endnotes, footnotes and text boxes, you’ll find this on the Review tab, in the Proofing section



Resolution Revealed

I have an IBM desktop PC with XP Professional. I recently obtained a video-to-PC device, which requires a 16-bit graphic card set to 800 x 600 or higher. I think that my machine's card most probably covers this, but I would like to make certain. I tried checking it in Device Manager but here I hit a brick wall. In the device's Properties dialogue box appear only General, Driver, Details and Resources tabs, nothing about the setting capability I'm looking for. I suppose that as usual the answer is staring me in the face somewhere, but I certainly can't see it.

Dave Timlin, Cardiff


Not quite staring you in the face, but it is there in front of you, once you know where to look. In XP, and in other versions of Windows by a slightly more roundabout route, all you have to do is right-click into an empty area of the desktop and select Properties then Settings. There you will see the Screen Resolution slider that shows you, and lets you adjust your computer’s video resolution. It also shows you the shape of the screen for any given resolution setting, so if you have a widescreen monitor make sure you chose a widescreen resolution setting, otherwise images will appear distorted.



Whither WordPad?

For some unexplained reason I have lost WordPad from my computer. I must have deleted it in some way.  I have XP and click on All Programs > Accessories but WordPad is nowhere to be seen.  Is there any way I can get it back?

John Gardner, by email


I doubt very much that you have deleted it; my guess is you’ve just zapped the program’s shortcut. You can easily check this by going to Run on the Start menu, type  ‘wordpad.exe’ (without the quotes) and click OK. If WordPad appears then all you have to do is recreate the shortcut by opening Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\Program Files\Windows NT\Accessories, right-click on wordpad.exe and select Send To > Desktop (create shortcut).




© R. Maybury 2010 1810


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