Houston We Have A Problem 136, 08/01/11
Although postcodes are helpful, they don’t
appear on Ordnance Survey maps, and similarly you can’t turn a postcode into an
OS six-figure map reference. Are there any programs one can use to make this
Stuart Bladon, by email
There’s no need for programs as there are a
number of free map coordinate converters on the web. Streetmap.co.uk (http://goo.gl/mLAbo),
for example, will turn a postcode into OS Explorer and Landranger grid
references or directly into Latitude and Longitude
Boxing Clever on a Mac
I have a MacBook and run Windows 7 within
VirtualBox Virtual Machine. This works brilliantly except that the Windows
window is quite small. I can make the VirtualBox window bigger but this doesn’t
resize the running Windows program. Is there a way of making a Windows program
occupy the whole of the VirtualBox window?
Tim Gibbons, by email
There is and with VirtualBox open all you have
to do is go to Devices and click Install Guest Additions. Afterwards you will
be able to select full screen using the keyboard shortcuts Command + F and
Command + L.
Repair or Recycle
I am having a problem with the scanner element
of my printer. The scan starts okay but after it is about one third complete
everything locks up. The only way out is to switch it off and back on again at
the mains socket. The rest of the printer facilities are working correctly.
Robert Fullerton, by email
It sounds like a mechanical problem and my
guess is something is jamming the mechanism that moves the scanner head beneath
the glass platen. There is a fair chance that it is going to be fairly easy to
fix and it shouldn’t be a problem if it is still under warranty. If it’s not
covered, unless you are handy with a screwdriver and know your way around the
insides of scanners and printers or you know someone who is, then getting it
repaired through the official channels or by an engineer is likely to cost a
good deal more that it is worth. It’s a sorry situation, I know, but that’s the
way it is these days and many consumer computer peripherals are simply not
designed to be repairable, at least not economically. If you can’t mend it
yourself you may be able to get a few pounds for it by advertising it on ebay,
but make sure it is listed as faulty or for ‘spares or repairs’. Otherwise you
can minimise the effect it has on the environment and increasing the chances
that it will be properly recycled by putting it in the correct pile or skip at
your local amenity waste disposal site.
I am getting increasingly frustrated by iTunes.
Each version seems to get bigger and more complicated and insists on doing
things that I do not want, need or even understand. I am not interested in
buying music online. All I want to do is be able to copy CDs from my
collection, converted into MP3 files, from my computer to my four-year old
iPod. Is that too much to ask?
Ben Pearson, by email
Of course not and it is fair to say that with
all of the new devices, services and features now available iTunes has grown
into a bit of a monster. For anyone like you, who just wants to use their iPods
to play and manage their own CD-based music collection it can seem a bit over
qualified. There are alternatives and one of the most straightforward is a
freeware utility called Sharepod (http://goo.gl/Kc7Cy).
You can install it on your PC and it gives you full access to all of the media
stored on your iPod, but it works even better if you install it on the iPod and
run it from there, so you can use it to manage your iPod on any Windows PC.
Either way, you’ll be able to drag and drop tracks and media files to and from
your PC and your iPod libraries and even backup the contents of your iPod with
just a couple of clicks.
Our Windows XP PC only goes into Sleep Mode if
it disconnected from the BT Home Hub. Changing the sleep settings doesn't help
and I am concerned that pulling the plug each time may damage the contacts.
Could you please provide us with a solution?
Peter Hill, by email
The prime suspect is a facility in your PC’s
Setup or BIOS program (Basic Input Output System, configures your computers
hardware at switch on) called Wake on LAN. Any activity on the local area
network (LAN) cable used to connect your PC to the Home Hub can stop the PC
sleeping, or cause it to immediately wake from Sleep mode. Details of how to
access the BIOS can usually be found in the motherboard or user’s manual
supplied with your PC. The other thing to check is the power settings for your
computer’s network adaptor. Open Device Manager (Winkey + Break > Hardware
> Device Manager), double-click on Network Adaptors, right click on the Ethernet
adaptor listed and select Properties. If there’s a Power Management tab select
that and uncheck the box ‘Allow this device to bring the computer out of
standby’, click OK and reboot for the change to take effect.
I have been running AVG 8.5 Free for a couple
of years with no problems but now I keep getting messages that say I need to
update to Anti Virus Free Edition 2011. Is this so or can I ignore this?
C. Corcoran, by email
If you do AVG will continue working but now
that a new version is available the old program’s signature library will no
longer be updated and your PC won’t be protected against the hundreds of new
viruses that appear each week.
© R. Maybury 2011 0612