Houston We Have a Problem 11



Ask Rick 147 02/04/11


Waste Management

I have a Canon MP750 all in one printer, which now shows the message ‘waste ink near full’. As I have just purchased a complete set of new Canon cartridges I am reluctant to throw the machine on the scrap heap. Any suggestions?

Andrew Moore, by email


Eventually the pads that absorb waste ink will become saturated and should be replaced or cleaned but as this is the first time the message has appeared I think you can safely get away with resetting the counter that makes the message appear. On this model the procedure is to enter Service Mode by pressing Menu > Scan > Copy > Scan > Copy > Copy and Test Mode is displayed. Use the +/-  buttons to select item 8 (Printer Test in Test Mode), then item 3 (EEPROM Clear). Press OK and the display should show 0 Ink Count. Press OK then Stop/Reset to return to Test Mode then On/Off, which resets the printer. 


Incidentally, replacing those pads is a horrible, messy business and involves delving deep into the printer’s innards. It’s not a job for the faint-hearted and expensive if you have it done for you, so if problems occur after another reset it may well be cheaper to replace it.



Photo Fix

I have received 50 plus photos by e-mail, and cannot get them into Picasa so that I can work on them. Can you help?

Susan Stone, by email


Save the images to a folder on your PC. All you have to do is right-click on the attachment icons in the emails and select Save As and select a folder. If there’s more than one attachment per email click SaveAll instead. Once on your hard drive you can tell Picasa where to find them by clicking Import and then Folder on the Select Device drop-down menu.



Date on the Desktop

Passing the mouse cursor over the clock within the Windows XP taskbar makes the date appear but is there a way that it can be permanently displayed?

R Turner, by email


Yes there is, simply widen the taskbar and the date will be shown. Right-click on the taskbar and if Lock the Taskbar is ticked, uncheck it. Place your mouse pointer over the edge of the taskbar until a double-headed arrow appears. Click and drag the taskbar until the date pops up then go back and lock the taskbar. Alternatively, download and install a little freeware utility called TClockEx, which lets you customise the System Tray, with the option to include a date display. You’ll find a link to the download at: http://goo.gl/SVJbG



Pipe Dreams

I am experiencing trouble when following a link to You Tube. The picture opens with a black screen on which is a revolving circle, which I take to be an upload. After a few seconds the actual video starts. After 5 or so seconds it reverts to the ‘upload’ again, then more picture then upload. This pattern continues. Checking broadband speed I am given: upload 0.2Mb and download 0.3Mb. I have been told that I have insufficient width and, if this is the case, what can I do to obtain a bigger width?

Jack White, by email


Your informant is more or less correct. The problem is you do not have enough bandwidth to ‘stream’ moving video. Think of your Internet connection as a pipe; yours is too narrow. The video keeps stopping because the flow of data cannot keep up with the video playback. You can avoid interruptions by pausing the video and waiting for the progress bar or ‘buffer memory’ to fill up before resuming play. However, in the end the only satisfactory solution is to get a wider pipe, which means talking to your ISP or shopping around for a faster broadband service. You need a bandwidth of at least 1Mb/sec to stream basic video services like You Tube but if you want to stay ahead of the game and take full advantage of what the Internet has to offer, you need to think in terms of 8 to 10Mb/sec, or the fastest service your connection (or wallet) can support.



Deaf Desktop

My XP computer is deaf. I can still hear all the computer sounds, music, and Skype. But no one can hear me. I have tested the microphone separately on a neighbour’s computer and it is fine. I have also reinstalled the driver for my Realtek AC97 soundcard. The diagnostic wizard tells me that all components are working correctly, but still the computer cannot hear me. I would like an economic solution as the computer is old, but I am not quite ready the replace it yet.

Phia Perriss, by email


You have done all of the right things and it seems that the soundcard is basically okay because you are hearing system sounds and there were no problems when you reinstalled the driver but it’s easy to overlook the obvious. Have you checked the microphone input level and mute controls? If not double click the speaker icon in the System Tray to open the main Volume Control dialogue box. It should show the microphone level slider. If not click Options > Properties and check Microphone. The level should be set to halfway or above and the Mute box must be unticked. If they are then open Sound Recorder (Start > Programs > Accessories > Entertainment), click Edit > Audio Properties and under Sound Recording make sure that Realtek AC97 is selected on the Default Device drop-down menu. If that all checks out try making a short test recording. Click Record and the see if the oscillograph display responds to the sound of your voice. If not then there may be a fault with the soundcard or microphone socket. They are not expensive (typically £7 to £12 purchased online) of difficult to replace but seek expert assistance if you are not comfortable tinkering around inside your PC. Alternatively you could try a USB audio adaptor or a webcam with a built-in microphone.



© R. Maybury 2011 0703


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